Oppositional Defiant Disorder in Children 

It's normal for children to display oppositional behavior at certain stages of development; however, there is a range between the normal independence-seeking behavior and that of oppositional defiant disorder. Oppositional defiant disorder is a pattern of defiant, disobedient and hostile behavior toward authority figures, such as parents, teachers or caregivers.

Symptoms of Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Oppositional Defiant Disorder occurs when behaviors are persistent, lasting for more than six months, and are creating a disruption in the classroom or at home. Behaviors is associated with Oppositional Defiant Disorder include:

  • Persistent Negativity
  • Defiance
  • Disobedience
  • Hostility directed toward authority figures
  • Repeated temper tantrums
  • Deliberately annoy others
  • Excessively arguing with adults
  • Blaming others for misbehavior
  • Acting aggressively toward adults or peers
  • Become spiteful or vindictive

*These symptoms may resemble other conditions or problems. Always consult with a provider for a diagnosis.

Related Mental Illnesses

Because oppositional defiant disorder often occurs along other mental illnesses or behavioral health problems, it is important to diagnose and treat any co-existing illnesses as they can worsen or create behavioral challenges associated with the disorder. Mental illnesses and behavioral health problems that often occur alongside oppositional defiant disorder include: 

  • Depression 
  • Anxiety 
  • Learning disorders
  • Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)