Pathophysiology of ODD Parent Guide Essay Assignment

Pathophysiology of ODD Parent Guide Essay Assignment

Pathophysiology of ODD

Aggression linked to low serotonin (mood regulating chemical of the brain) (Saddock et al., 2014)

Collective influence of biopsychosocial factors (Riley, Ahmed, & Locke, 2016)

Biological Factors

Use of nicotine products by mother/father

Developmental delays

Poor maternal nutrition during pregnancy.


Often occurs along with other mental health disorders such as anxiety, ADHD, and depression. Pathophysiology of ODD Parent Guide Essay Assignment


Dysfunctional attachment: Cannot become independent of caregiver (Riley et al., 2016).

Seeking freedom from parent, especially during teenage years (Saddock et al., 2014)

Security needs not met during infancy

Hostility, especially from mother

Trauma/abuse: Physical, emotional, or sexual

Rigorous/inconsistent punishments


Not “fitting in” with peers

Lower socioeconomic status

Poorly defined rules and limits

Negative reinforcement (Riley et al., 2016)

Signs and Symptoms of ODD

Affective (angry/irritable)Symptoms Include:

  • Loss of temper/tantrums
  • High leveAls of anger
  • Is “touchy”

               Behavioral (argumentative/defiant) Symptoms Include:

  • Spitefulness
  • Blames Others
  • Antagonizes Others

Affective symptoms are closely related to emotional disorders such as depression later in life.  Behavioral symptoms are closely related to ADHD, conduct disorder, and delinquency later in life (Smith, Lee, Martel, & Axelrad, 2017). Pathophysiology of ODD Parent Guide Essay Assignment

Diagnosing Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD)

Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) can be difficult to diagnose as it can be easily mistaken for a “misbehaving child” or one going through a “rough transition” and can also be misdiagnosed at attention-deficit/ hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The DSM-V, however, recently modified the diagnostic criteria with different associated variables making the diagnosing process more solid and concrete. To meet diagnostic criteria, according to Riley, Ahmed, and Locke (2016), the following must be met:

  1. The child must have at least four symptoms of anger/ irritable mood, argumentative/ defiant behavior, or vindictiveness. Pathophysiology of ODD Parent Guide Essay Assignment
  2. The qualifying symptoms must have been present for at least six months
  3. The qualifying symptoms must have a negative impact on social, educational, or occupational functioning (only one domain must be affected).

There are no specific laboratory testing or diagnostic instruments available to diagnose ODD, but instruments such as the Connors 3, Vanderbilt ADHD Diagnostic Parent Rating Scale, and the Child Behavior Checklist can assist in ruling out differential diagnoses including ADHD, adjustment disorder, Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder, and Conduct Disorder (Sadock, Sadock, and Ruiz, 2015). Pathophysiology of ODD Parent Guide Essay Assignment

Treatment Options

Oppositional defiant disordered is typically diagnosed by the symptoms of frequent anger episodes, irritable mood wrings, defiant behavior and outright vindictiveness. Treatment for ODD is psychosocial management as well as parent and child education. Cognitive behavioral therapy teaches problem solving skills, anger management, and invokes an alternate positive thinking process. Children also benefit from peer support groups which provide a safe haven to learn from other peers as well as be taught by an educated facilitator. Parents are also well-educated on how to properly discipline and reward the child through parent management training. For children with dual diagnosis such as ODD coupled with ADHD, Methylphenidate and Guanfacine has been highly effective with managing behavior and attention span symptoms (Ghosh, Ray, & Basu, 2017). Pathophysiology of ODD Parent Guide Essay Assignment

Parent Resources


Ghosh, A., Ray, A., & Basu, A. (2017). Oppositional definat disorder: current insight. Psychology Research and Behavior Management 10, 353-367

Riley, M., Ahmed, S., & Locke, A. (2016). Common questions about oppositional defiant disorder. American Family Physician, 93(7), 586-591. Retrieved September 10, 2018 from

Sadock, B.J., Sadock, V.A., & Ruiz, P. (2015). Kaplan & Sadock’s synopsis of psychiatry: Behavioral Sciences/ Clinical Psychiatry (11th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer.

Smith, T. E., Lee, C. A., Martel, M. M., & Axelrad, M. E. (2017). ODD symptom network during preschool. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 45(4), 743-748. doi:10.1007/s10802-016-0196-y

Pathophysiology of ODD Parent Guide Essay Assignment