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What Are the First Symptoms Oppositional Defiant Disorder & How Do You Test For It?

Oppositional defiant type of disorder is a behavioral disorder and doctors recommend diagnosing it during the childhood phase only. Children suffering from this problem are defiant, uncooperative and hostile towards parents, peers, teachers and several other types of authority figures. These cause trouble for other people as compared to themselves.

What Are the First Symptoms Oppositional Defiant Disorder?

Signs and symptoms associated with the oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) often start during the child’s preschool years. In some cases, ODD may take place later but often during the early teenage. These behaviors lead to drastic impairment with social activities, family, work and school.

For this, the American Psychiatric Association has published its diagnostic and statistical manual consists of mental disorders lists, which contain criteria to diagnose oppositional defiant disorder. The criteria consist of behavioral and emotional symptoms, which may last for about six months.

Irritable Mood With Anger

  • Children suffering from these symptoms usually lose their temper
  • Other people may easily annoy such children
  • Oppositional defiant disorder kids are of touchy frequently
  • Usually remains angry and shows resentful feelings

Defiant And Argumentative Behavior

  • Oppositional defiant disorder affected kids often argue with people or adults belonging to an authority
  • These children actively refuse or defy to comply with various rules and requests of adults
  • Kids suffering from oppositional defiant disorder may upset or annoy other people deliberately
  • Children dealing with oppositional defiant disorder usually blame other kids or adults for their mistakes and misbehavior.


  1. Children suffering from oppositional defiant disorder problems often feel vindictive or spiteful.
  2. Affected children may show vindictive or spiteful behavior two times during the last six months period.

Oppositional defiant disorder may vary in terms of severity and hence-

  • Mild symptoms take place in a single setting, like only at home or school
  • Moderate symptoms may take place in minimum two different settings
  • Severe oppositional defiant disorder symptoms take place in multiple settings.(2)

How Do You Test For Oppositional Defiant Disorder?

Doctors recommend for the diagnose of a child suffering from oppositional defiant disorder if he or she shows a pattern consists of behavioral problems and such problems last for a minimum of 6 months. Moreover, the mentioned behavioral problems involve a minimum of one person, who is not the sibling of an affected child.

In this situation, psychiatrists evaluate the intensity, frequency, and duration of the symptoms of a child and the impairment caused to kids while doing a diagnosis. This may involve collecting a detailed history of the behaviors done by your child in different situations.

As children with oppositional defiant disorder may show various symptoms in a single setting i.e. at home in most of the cases, while stay likely to become defiant in interactions with peers and adults they know well. Doctors choose to diagnose the problem of oppositional defiant disorder when your child is around his/her elementary school age.(3)

Researchers have suggested two prime theories behind the occurrence of oppositional defiant disorder. These include-

Learning Theory: This type of theory recommends that oppositional defiant disorder negative symptoms be of learned attitudes. They mirror the negative reinforcement methods’ effects used often by parents and teachers. The application of negative reinforcement enhances the oppositional defiant disorder behavior of a kid. Because of this, the behavior allows a child to obtain whatever he or she wants i.e. reaction and attention from parents and other people.

Developmental Theory: This type of theory highlights those problems, which start with children when they belong to the toddlers’ group. Teens and children may experience oppositional defiant disorder and deal with difficulty in learning to be independent of the main person, including parents to whom they have emotional attachments. The behavior of the affected child may be normal developmental problems, which may last beyond the years of toddlers.(1)


To conclude, we should say that children suffering from oppositional defiant disorder may experience various problems related to their moods and behaviors.


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Team PainAssist
Team PainAssist
Written, Edited or Reviewed By: Team PainAssist, Pain Assist Inc. This article does not provide medical advice. See disclaimer
Last Modified On:May 2, 2020

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