Etiology is defined as the study of causes or origins. The definition specifically refers to causes and origins, plural. Determining the etiology of a disorder is not simplistic or easy. Examining the etiology of a disorder, specifically from a developmental perspective, becomes even more complex. Through the developmental lens, etiology is best considered a process. The pathology affecting an individual is the end result not of one event or one factor but instead of several factors and events transacting with one another in very specific ways. Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) is characterized by a behavior pattern that is negative and hostile. The individual diagnosed with this disorder is often spiteful or vindictive, is unable to control his/her temper, and refuses to comply with the rules and requests of authority figures.
[...] Based on those symptoms, Oppositional Defiant Disorder is on the lower level of the developmental spectrum. However, those are only two of the eight suggested symptoms listed in the DSM and the six remaining do not readily fit into the proposed spectrums without the input of the individual him or herself. One could reason that since only two of the symptoms instantly appear to place the individual with this disorder at the lower developmental level that in most ways this person will be relatively high functioning. [...]
[...] Social competence would allow a child or adolescent to share their challenges with a teacher appropriately without exhibiting externalizing behaviors and if the teacher- child relationship is positive, it will mirror the positive parent-child relationship in the school environment and decrease the chances of ADHD evolving into ODD. School bonding is another protective factor. It's defined as the positive relationships between the teachers, the students, and the parents. It speaks to the importance of collaboration. Research has shown that ODD is usually preceded by ADHD. [...]
[...] Certainly the risk factors increase the chances for one to develop the disorder and the protective factors reduce that risk but why some individuals in the face of these risk factors do not develop the disorder and why some individuals who seem to have a surplus of protective factors, do, remains an unknown. The concepts of multifinality and equifinality have been alluded to throughout this piece but they haven't been directly addressed. Multifinality refers to the notion that several individuals can develop in the presence of the same risk factors but that does not guarantee that they will all be diagnosed with the same condition later in life. [...]
[...] Once again, it's only speculation but an adolescent with behavior problems is more likely to strike fear in an adoptive parent than a child with behavior problems and that fear could manifest itself in a particular relationship pattern that predisposes the adolescent to the development of ODD. The parent/child relationship keeps surfacing as a possible connection between many of the contributing factors but its presence doesn't simplify anything. It's still a potential mediator for several different developmental pathways. Its influence may be fairly significant but it still transacts and develops alongside and intertwined with several other factors. [...]
[...] True, in some cultures people would have a more difficult time presuming to know, understand, and relate the perspective of another family member, especially an elder but the circular questioning in always framed in hypothetical to diffuse the level of discomfort that could exist. This technique very carefully takes into consideration many different factors thus fitting it into the developmental perspective very well (Milne et al., 2001). Tagging, while it requires much self-control and a true desire to resolve underlying problems and the discipline of those involved to act rather than react, is very effective with the ODD population. [...]
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