What Is Oppositional Defiant Disorder In Teenagers?

The adolescent years can be quite turbulent for the average teen, but even more so for teens with oppositional defiant disorder. Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is a condition where teens display uncontrollable, disrespectful, hostile and defiant behavior towards others. ODD differs from conventional teen “misbehavior” in that it can completely disrupt a young teen’s life, making it nearly impossible for him or her to operate within a social or academic environment.

Signs of Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Most teens experience times of being uncooperative and rebellious during their adolescent years. In ODD teens, however, uncontrollable hostility and defiance inhibits them from functioning in daily life. It is not uncommon for teens with ODD  to be angry, argumentative, rebellious, resentful and vindictive on a regular basis. Teens with this disorder even have trouble getting along with their peers, hindering them from making friends and interacting on a social level.

Causes of Oppositional Defiant Disorder

The root cause of ODD can be traced to family and environmental background. In some cases, the condition begins to develop in childhood, with signs escalating into adolescence. Children who have a problem with angry and defiant behavior when they are young may be candidates for ODD as they grow into adolescence. Lack of parental discipline, inconsistent discipline or a difficult home environment can all contribute to this disorder.

Teens respond differently to difficult situations in the home, such as divorce or family squabbles. Without proper help and guidance, difficult situations can bring out the worst in a teen causing negativity, rebellion and aggression. Many parents lack the parental skills needed to help their teens cope with adverse circumstances that arise. Some are too aggressive with their teens, disciplining them too harshly. Others are too passive, allowing the negative behavior to continue without restraint.

Parents who lack parental standards and waver back and forth between passive and aggressive discipline, unwittingly encourage ODD in their kids. As the years go by, children with this disorder grow into teens with long term negative behavioral patterns that complicate their lives.

Treatment for Oppositional Defiant Disorder

There are several options for treatment of ODD in children and teens. Such options include individual therapy, family therapy, cognitive behavior therapy, parental training programs, social skills training programs and medications. Parental training programs teach parents communication and negotiation skills for working with teens to reduce power struggles within the home.

Therapy sessions provide a means for teens to communicate their feelings with professional counselors who can teach them how to handle their negative emotions and behavior. Social skills training can also be very effective in teaching young teens positive attitudes and behavior that encourage friendship, teamwork and the development of positive relationships.

If your teen is suffering from ODD, ParentResources.info can help. Our goal is to help parents find help for their teens. We offer free consultations. So, call us today to get your teen the help needed.