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Oppositional Defiant Disorder: Social Factors

Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is characterized by a persistent pattern of negative, defiant, hostile, and disobedient behaviors leading to impairment of day-to-day activities. The behaviors reflect dysfunctional interactions between the child and the social environment.

The Family Context

The quality of family relations and family functioning exerts a strong effect on the development of ODD. Parenting characterized by harsh or inconsistent discipline, family violence, parents’ substance abuse, parental psychopathology, and maternal hostility toward the child are all well-known risk factors for the development of ODD. When comparing parents of children with ODD and parents of children without ODD, the following pattern emerges: The parents of children with ODD are more likely to experience higher levels of marital stress and more hostility toward their spouses, and they ...

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