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An examination of Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) from a developmental perspective

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  1. Introduction
  2. The end result: Oppositional defiant disorder
  3. Specific symptom analysis
  4. Risk factors
    1. Impulsivity
    2. Gender
    3. ADHD
    4. Parent child relationship
    5. Adoption
    6. Socioeconomic status
    7. Race
  5. Protective factors
  6. Multifinality and equifinality
  7. Treatment
  8. Conclusion
  9. References

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. [...]


[...] The strength based model is derived from the post modernist perspective which nearly mirrors that of developmental psychology, crediting this disorder with a non-linear emergence that differs depending on each individual and their specific risks and protective factors. This model incorporates the family, social system, school, and any other resource the adolescent has at his disposal into the treatment by emphasizing the strong and positive points in the adolescent's life rather than focusing on what they are doing that is undesirable. [...]

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