Are there ways to prevent Oppositional Defiant Disorder?

Research shows that early-intervention and school-based programs along with individual psychotherapy can help prevent Oppositional Defiant Disorder.

A developmental sequence of experiences occurs in the development of Oppositional Defiant Disorder. This sequence may start with ineffective parenting practices, followed by difficulty with other authority figures and poor peer interactions. As these experiences continue, defiant behaviors develop into a “pattern” of behavior. Early detection and intervention into negative family and social experiences can be very helpful in disrupting the sequence of experiences leading to more defiant behaviors.

Early detection and intervention with more effective communication skills, parenting skills, conflict resolution skills, and anger management skills can disrupt the pattern of negative behaviors and decrease the interference of defiant behaviors in interpersonal relationships with grown-ups and peers, and school and social adjustment.

Among preschoolers, the Head Start program has been shown to help kids do well in school and prevent delinquency later in life. Head Start is a program of the United States Department of Health and Human Services (US-HHS) that provides education, health, and other services to low-income kids and their families. Young kids in this program learn social skills, how to resolve conflict, and how to manage anger. A home visit to high-risk kids also has been shown to help prevent Oppositional Defiant Disorder among preschoolers.

Among teenagers with Oppositional Defiant Disorder, talk therapy, social-skills training, vocational training, and assistance with academics can help reduce disruptive behavior. In addition, school-based programs can be effective in stopping bullying, reducing antisocial behavior, and improving peer relationships.

Parent-management training programs have proven effective in preventing Oppositional Defiant Disorder among all age groups. These programs teach moms and dads how to develop a nurturing and secure relationship with their youngster and how to set boundaries for unacceptable behavior.

Since Oppositional Defiant Disorder is caused by many different factors, it is impossible to completely protect your son or daughter from developing this disorder. However, you can carefully control the environment in which your youngster lives, especially if he or she has existing conditions that put him or her at risk. These conditions include ADHD, developmental disorders, anxiety, and depression.

Consistent, caring parenting with appropriate rules and boundaries can teach a youngster or teen how to correctly follow guidance and respect authority figures. Early diagnosis improves the prognosis of treatment, so contact your doctor if your son or daughter begins to exhibit symptoms of Oppositional Defiant Disorder, especially if he or she has other existing risk factors.

==> Parenting Children with Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Does Oppositional Defiant Disorder Usually Occur Alongside Other Disorders?

Re: "Does Oppositional Defiant Disorder usually occur alongside other disorders?"

The short answer is “yes, more often than not!” Many kids who are diagnosed with Oppositional Defiant Disorder also have other treatable mental health and learning conditions. Having more than one condition is called having a coexisting or comorbid condition. Some conditions that coexist with Oppositional Defiant Disorder are:
  • Language disorders
  • Anxiety disorders
  • ADHD
  • Mood disorders (e.g., depression, bipolar disorder)
  • Learning disorders

Research indicates that some kids develop the behavioral symptoms of Oppositional Defiant Disorder as a way to manage anxiety or uncertainty. Anxiety disorders and mood disorders are similar to Oppositional Defiant Disorder in that they are often a response to uncertainty and an unstable home and school environment. These similarities make it more likely that Oppositional Defiant Disorder and anxiety disorder and a mood disorder will occur together.

Among all conditions that coexist with Oppositional Defiant Disorder, ADHD is the most common. Both disorders share common symptoms of disruptive behaviors. However, kids and teens that have both Oppositional Defiant Disorder and ADHD tend to be more aggressive, have more of the negative behavioral symptoms of Oppositional Defiant Disorder, and perform less well in school than those who have Oppositional Defiant Disorder alone. These kids also tend to have more disruption in their families and with their relationships with authority figures than kids that do not have Oppositional Defiant Disorder.

Researchers have found that Oppositional Defiant Disorder can be a precursor to Conduct Disorder. Conduct Disorder is a more serious behavioral disorder that can result in destructive antisocial behavior. While Oppositional Defiant Disorder behaviors may start in early preschool years, Conduct Disorder usually appears when kids are older. A youngster or teen who has ADHD as a coexisting condition also seems to be at increased risk of developing Conduct Disorder. In addition, studies show that having Conduct Disorder puts kids and teens at risk of developing a mood disorder or antisocial personality disorder later in life.

While having Oppositional Defiant Disorder and a coexisting condition puts a youngster at risk for developing other more serious mental health issues, treatments exist that can improve the symptoms of ADHD, anxiety disorders, mood disorders, and learning and language disorders. Also, treating other mental health and learning conditions that occur along with Oppositional Defiant Disorder has been shown to decrease the behavioral symptoms of Oppositional Defiant Disorder.

==> Parenting Children with Oppositional Defiant Disorder