Last Updated on Mar 01, 2019

What is Opposition Defiant Disorder?

Opposition defiant disorder (ODD) is a disorder marked by an uncooperative, aggressive, argumentative and defiant behavior towards people in authority to deliberately irritate and annoy them.

  • It is considered a normal phase for children in their terrible twos and threes and teens to defy, be hostile or argue with parents, grownups or teachers.
  • But this type of behavior becomes a serious concern if it is very frequent and is impacting the studies or relationships of children with fellow students or parents.

It is estimated that around ten percent of children are affected by ODD. In the younger age group ODD occurs more in boys whereas it occurs equally in teenage children.

There is also a sixty percent chance of these children developing other serious behavioral disorders such as Attention deficit hyperactive disorder (ADHD) and Conduct disorders later on in life.

  • Individual as well as family therapy is vital in the treatment of children with ODD.

What are the Types of Opposition Defiant Disorder?

There are of three types of ODD:

  • Stimulus Dependent: This typeis usually associated with ADHD
  • Cognitive Overload: This group of children has serious difficulties with learning. They suffer from anxiety disorder and are socially awkward
  • Fearful:This type is highly reactive to stress and has maximum attacks of rage, irritability and most children are known to have suffered from traumatic experiences in the past

What are the Causes of Opposition Defiant Disorder?

The exact causes of Oppositional defiant disorder are not completely understood. However the following factors are commonly found in children with ODD.

  • Genetic: It is found that many children who suffer from ODD have other close family members who suffer from similar learning and conduct disorders
  • Dysfunctional family life: A history of abuse and neglect by parents, harsh and inconstant style of parenting may also contribute to developing ODD
  • Brain injuries
  • Abnormal functioning of neurotransmitters: The nerve cells communicate with each other via chemical agents released by nerve cells. When these do not function in an orderly manner it may lead to mental illnesses such as ODD


  1. What Is Oppositional Defiant Disorder? - (
  2. American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Oppositional Defiant Disorder - (
  3. The Many Faces of Oppositional Defiant Disorder- Khrista Boylan, MD, PhD, FRCPC - (
  4. Mayo Clinic- Oppositional defiant disorder - (

Latest Publications and Research on Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)

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