Oppositional defiant disorder, categorized as a Behaviour Disorder in Childhood is considered a less severe pattern of chronic misbehaviour among children.
Children with oppositional defiant disorder are not aggressive toward people or animals, do not destroy property, and do not show a pattern of theft and deceit. However, these children have been increasingly difficult to manage since nursery school.
At school, they tease and kick other children, stumble on them, and call them names. They are described as bad-tempered and irritable, though at times they seem to enjoy school. Often, these children appear to be deliberately trying to annoy other children, though they always claim that others have started the argument. They do not get in serious fights but do occasionally exchange a few blows with other peers. They sometimes refuse to do what teachers tell them to do and give many reasons why they should not have to do the work and argue when told to do it.
At home, on some days they are defiant and rude to their parents, needing to be told to do everything several times, though they usually comply eventually. Other days they are charming and volunteer to help, but their unhelpful days predominate. The least little thing upsets them, and then they shout and scream at home. These children tell many minor lies, though when pressed they are truthful about significant topics”.
To recapitulate, the behaviour of children with Oppositional Defiant Disorder is described by the following characteristics, which are prevalent for alteast six months:
- Frequently loses temper and quarrels with grownups
2. Actively disobeys rules or requests
3.Intentionally irritates others and blames others for errors or misconduct
4. Gets easily annoyed by other people and is vindictive.
Symptoms of oppositional defiant disorder often begin during the toddler and preschool years. Some affected children seem to outgrow these behaviours by late childhood or early adolescence.
However, others, particularly those who tend to be aggressive, go on to develop conduct disorder in childhood and adolescence.
Biological factors that have been implicated in the development of ODD include genetics and imbalance of neurotransmitters. In addition, psychological factors such as poor parental supervision, parental uninvolvement & parental violence are associated with ODD.
Treatment for ODD involves Cognitive-behavioural therapy that focuses on changing hostile cognitions & teaching children problem-solving skills.
Alongside, parents are instrumental in a child`s life. Parents should create a supportive-accommodative structured environment that will promote learning, enforce discipline, and boost self-esteem of children.