ODD is a complex problem involving a variety of influences, circumstances and genetic components. There's no single factor that causes ODD.

Possible risk factors include:

  • Being abused or neglected
  • Harsh or inconsistent discipline
  • Lack of supervision
  • Lack of positive parental involvement
  • Having parents with a severely troubled marriage
  • Parents with a history of ADHD, oppositional defiant disorder or conduct problems
  • Financial problems in the family
  • Family instability such as occurs with divorce, multiple moves, or changing schools or child care providers frequently

Stressful changes that disrupt a child's sense of consistency — such as divorce or changing child care — increase the risk of disruptive behavior. However, though these changes may help explain disrespectful or oppositional behavior, they don't excuse it. If you're concerned about your child's behavior or trouble adjusting to life changes, talk with your doctor.

Nov. 25, 2014

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