What are the symptoms of oppositional defiant disorder?

Most symptoms seen in children and adolescents with oppositional defiant disorder also occur at times in children without this disorder, especially around the ages or 2 or 3, or during the teenage years. Many children, especially when they are tired, hungry, or upset, tend to disobey, argue with parents, or defy authority. However, in children and adolescents with oppositional defiant disorder, these symptoms occur more frequently and interfere with learning, school adjustment, and, sometimes, with the child's (adolescent's) relationships with others.
Symptoms of oppositional defiant disorder may include:
  • frequent temper tantrums
  • excessive arguments with adults
  • refusal to comply with adult requests
  • always questioning rules; refusal to follow rules
  • behavior intended to annoy or upset others, including adults
  • blaming others for his/her misbehaviors or mistakes
  • easily annoyed by others
  • frequently has an angry attitude
  • speaking harshly, or unkind
  • deliberately behaving in ways that seek revenge
The symptoms of ODD may resemble other medical conditions or behavior problems. Always consult your child's (adolescent's) physician for a diagnosis.
Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is marked by a number of behavioral symptoms. They may include hostility, disobedience toward authority figures, temper tantrums, anger, resentment, and academic problems, among others. Because many of these symptoms are normal to some degree for developing children, identification of true ODD can be challenging. When these symptoms become severe enough to prevent consistent normal functioning at school or at home for more than six months, the condition is confirmed. ODD is diagnosed by a pediatric psychiatrist, psychologist or child mental health specialist.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.