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Does your child frequently "act up"? Does your child often refuse to do what you ask, or purposely do things you have asked your child not to do, just to annoy you?
Does your child often get into trouble at school?
Does your child have frequent tantrums?
Is your child often aggressive towards others?

Does your child purposefully set fires?
Has your child ever been arrested?
Has your child ever run away from home or left school without your permission?

What are ODD and CD?

  • Most children and adolescents display some sort of oppositional and/or defiant behavior throughout their childhood. Examples of this type of behavior may include: constant arguing, refusing to do things asked of them, purposely disobeying rules, stubbornness, and being aggressive towards others.
  • However, some children are much more oppositional and defiant than others, to the point that it begins to interfere with theirs or their caretakers' daily routines or activities. When this type of misbehavior interferes with the child's or caretakers' daily lives, the child may qualify for a diagnosis of Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) or Conduct Disorder (CD).
  • A child with ODD may frequently lose his temper, refuse to comply with requests of adults or other authority figures, purposely do things that will annoy other people, blame others for his mistakes or misbehavior, be easily annoyed by others, and/or often be very angry, resentful, spiteful, or vindictive.1
  • A child with CD typically engages in oppositional, defiant, and/or disobedient behavior (similar to ODD), children with CD tend to also engage in more severe behaviors that may cause harm to themselves or others. For example, children with CD may be physically cruel to people or animals, purposely destroy property (including fire-setting), engage in deceitfulness or theft, or seriously violate rules (e.g., running away from home, truancy from school, staying out at night without parents' permission).1

How common are ODD and CD in children and adolescents?

  • Between 2% to 16% of children reportedly have been diagnosed with ODD.1
  • ODD usually becomes more obvious when a child is at least 8 years old, and is less common to emerge after early adolescence.1
  • ODD is more common in families in which at least one parent has a history of mood disorder, ODD or CD, Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Antisocial Personality Disorder, or a Substance-Related Disorder. ODD also has been found to be more common in families where parents argue a lot with one another.1
  • CD is one of the most often diagnosed mental health disorders in children, and boys are diagnosed with CD more often than girls.
  • Between 1% to greater than 10% of children reportedly have been diagnosed with CD. In many cases, children who develop CD have been diagnosed with ODD in the past.1
  • There may be more children diagnosed with CD in urban settings, compared to rural settings.1
  • CD is more common in families in which at least one parent has a history of Antisocial Personality Disorder, Alcohol Dependence, a mood disorder, Schizophrenia, or Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, or a sibling with CD.1

What can I do if my child has been diagnosed with a ODD or CD?

1American Psychiatric Association (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed. rev.). Washington, D. C.: Author.

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