Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)

ODD typically develops in children before the age of eight. It can be difficult to distinguish between a strong-willed child and a child with ODD. A child with ODD exhibits severe symptoms, the symptoms last longer than six months, and the behaviors are disruptive to the home and/or school environments.


Common symptoms for ODD are temper tantrums, refusal to comply with request or directives, feelings of anger or resentment, spiteful behavior, difficulty maintaining friendships, low self-esteem, and overall the child is seen as defiant. The child will often not acknowledge he/she is defiant and often believes unrealistic expectations are being placed on him/her. Often ODD has similar traits as children experiencing ADHD, anxiety, or depression.


Treatment can include consulting with a physician or seeking advice from mental health professional. Parents/guardians can help the child by maintaining consistency within the home and partnering with the school staff to ensure expectations are similar. The consistency includes consequences as well as specific approach when the child is struggling. If the child is experiencing anxiety, ADHD, or depression, medications may also be helpful.

Because the symptoms can be similar to other mental health diagnoses it is important for parents/guardians to consult medical/mental health professionals.

This information was gathered from MayoClinic.org.