Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is a disruptive behaviour disorder involving an ongoing pattern of angry/irritable mood, argumentative/defiant behaviour and vindictiveness. Onset is typically before 8 years of age, although ODD can be diagnosed in both children and adults. This disorder is associated with substantial social and economic burden, and childhood ODD is one of the most common precursors of other mental health problems that can arise across the lifespan. The population prevalence of ODD is ~3 to 5%. A higher prevalence in males than females has been reported, particularly before adolescence. No single risk factor accounts for ODD. The development of this disorder seems to arise from the interaction of genetic and environmental factors, and mechanisms embedded in social relationships are understood to contribute to its maintenance. The treatment of ODD is often successful, and relatively brief parenting interventions produce large sized treatment effects in early childhood. Accordingly, ODD represents an important focus for research, practice and policy concerning early intervention and prevention in mental health.
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