Oppositional Defiant Disorder: Lifespan Perspectives

Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is defined by a recurrent pattern of negativistic, defiant, disobedient, and hostile behavior toward authority figures that persists for at least 6 months. The oppositional and argumentative behaviors that form the criteria for this disorder are commonly displayed in normally developing children, especially in certain developmental periods, such as the early, preschool years (i.e., the terrible twos) and adolescence. However, when they occur at a frequency that is well beyond a range that is normative for the individual’s developmental level, gender, and culture, they predict later problems in adjustment, independent of other disorders that may co-occur with the ODD. When considering whether or not the behaviors are developmentally normative or indicative of a disorder requiring treatment, it is important to document, ...

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