Write 5 page essay on the topic Oppositional Defiant Disorder.

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The age of onset of this psychiatric problem has been observed as early as three years and the clinical features can be identified easily at the age of eight years. It is very uncommon after adolescence. Boys show a greater ratio of this psychiatric disorder as compared to girls up till puberty and after gaining puberty this ratio becomes equal. (Sadock et al 2009). Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) has various underlying causes and risk factors and it presents with different signs and symptoms and it can be identified by the set diagnostic criteria. The risk factors and etiological factors for ODD are not very clear and the family background, hereditary, environmental and social factors are mostly the underlying causes for the eruption of the symptoms in the child. Child’s natural predisposition plays a critical role in the development of this disorder. Assertive nature of the child and the similar authoritative reaction shown by the parents to discipline their child causes them to retaliate and disobey their authority figures. With the passage of time the child needs to develop a sense of self-confidence and self-determination. However, in cases of difficulty in compliance, this behavior is exaggerated and when he/she steps into adolescence, this oppositional response is intensified. Sexual or physical abuse, lack of proper supervision by parents or neglected childhood, mental retardation in late childhood, chemical imbalance for instance of serotonin and any environmental trauma can also trigger ODD. Families that have undergone problems like divorce, troubled parental relationship, frequent school changes, financial instabilities and strict and harsh discipline maintenance are other etiological factors responsible for ODD. A single factor cannot be pointed out as the cause of ODD in any affected individual (Mayo Clinic Staff 2012. Sadock et al 2009). Classic psychoanalytical theory has explained that the oppositional behavior of the children is the outcome of accumulating aggressive responses against their authority figures and is a way of expressing control over them. This control is expressed through tantrums, temper outbreaks and other negative attitudes (Sadock et al 2009). The clinical features of ODD start presenting before 8 years of age and intensify over the early teen years. It takes months and years for the clinical signs and symptoms of the child to worsen and complicate. The behavior of the child is to be noticed if he/she presents with aggressive nature and various incidents of moodiness over the past six months at least and have been persistent throughout. The symptoms include temper tantrums which are persistent, poor compliance with disobedience for rules, arguing with authority figures like parents, blaming others for own mistakes, anger and aggressive behavior, revenge taking behaviors, easily annoyed and irritated over petty issues, intentional gestures to annoy others and persistent disobedience against the parents. These symptoms can be observed both by parents at home or by teachers and friends in the setting of school. Aggressiveness is expressed by the children more often through verbal communication and harsh attitude against parents or teachers. Physical aggressiveness is less common in ODD, but more common in Conduct Disorder.

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