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Oppositional Defiant Disorder: Cultural Factors

Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is a behavior disorder primarily found in children and youth. The core feature of ODD is a chronic pattern of irritable, negativistic, defiant/argumentative, and disobedient behavior toward authority figures, usually the child’s parents. Studies of children growing up in Western, industrialized cultures have shown that oppositional behavior is extremely common during the toddler and preschool years. Typical problem behaviors include arguing, refusing to comply with parents’ requests, responding to frustration with temper tantrums, and testing the “limits” of parental control. Given that oppositional defiant behavior is common during certain developmental periods, clinically significant manifestations of oppositional behavior are marked by the frequency, severity, and persistence of the child’s oppositional behavior in relation to normally developing age peers. To qualify for a ...

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