Oppositional Defiant Disorder Defined

Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) is a common mental health disorder amongst children and adolescents characterized by patterns of hostile, defiant behavior towards parents and other authority figures. People with Oppositional Defiant Disorder are often rebellious and display insubordinate behavior. They can be stubborn, and often argue with authority figures. They have a difficult time controlling their anger and are prone to outbursts of anger. To fit the diagnosis of Oppositional Defiant Disorder, a person must have exhibited symptoms for at least six months.

Between 1 and 16% of children and adolescents have ODD. The causes of Oppositional Defiant Disorder remain unknown, however parents of children and adolescents with oppositional defiant disorder often say that their child was far more demanding and rigid at an early age than the child’s siblings.

oppositional defiant disorder

Photo by: Asheville Academy

Asheville Academy and Oppositional Defiant Disorder

At Asheville Academy, students with oppositional defiant disorder are provided the best care from experienced professionals. Working together collaboratively, every staff member sees the girls’ opportunities for growth and development. This includes the clinical team, the academic staff, and the residential staff. Students with oppositional defiant disorder, and any other behavioral issues go through the clinical model specifically designed for them.

The therapeutic model at Asheville Academy utilizes individual, family and equine assisted therapy to help young girls, some with oppositional defiant disorder, to become the best individuals they can be.  


A study conducted by Harvard University found that 92.4 percent of the population they surveyed who had lifetime oppositional defiant disorder also met criteria for at least one other lifetime disorder such as ADHD, anxiety disorders and conduct disorders. This means that oppositional defiant disorder is oftentimes coupled with other disorders.

In a study conducted by ResearchGate, those children who had some type of mental health treatment in the past year (with some other diagnosis) were 24% more likely to receive a diagnosis of oppositional defiant disorder than children with no previous treatment. In other words, oppositional defiant disorder was often not the first diagnosis received and the child had received previous mental health services. Children “new” to the mental health system with no previous diagnosis were more likely to be given a different diagnosis, like depression or ADHD.

Contemporary Articles

In a Huffington Post article, one family describes the struggles they faced when their son was diagnosed with oppositional defiant disorder. Their psychiatrist recommended parent-child interaction therapy, which promotes a healthy relationship between parents and child. The mother of the child with oppositional defiant disorder noted that therapists gave them the tools to handle their child’s condition, which continues to improve.

Oppositional Defiant Disorder Defined By..




Your Little Professor

Family Help and Wellness


The long-term longitudinal course of oppositional defiant disorder and conduct disorder in ADHD boys: findings from a controlled 10-year prospective longitudinal follow-up study

Lifetime prevalence, correlates, and persistence of oppositional defiant disorder: results from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication



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