Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) is one of the most common behavioral disorders young children. Approximately 23% of children have the matching symptoms of a behavior disorder by the time they reach 16 years of age.
ODD can lead to worse disorders and can cause children to act increasingly angry and violent. It can even lead to sociopathic or criminal personality tendencies.
The Onset of ODD
ODD is mostly diagnosed during the ages of 6 to 10. However, symptoms may appear at a younger age, and may not show themselves until a child has reached puberty.
ODD is the consequence of anger that has accumulated in childhood that has never been resolved for one reason or another. Selfishness and a desire to control parents, siblings, and other children is also a factor in the development of ODD.
The Consequences of ODD
The consequences of ODD can be dire. Manifestations of the disorder can harm a child’s family life, friendships, and academic performance. There is a degree of overlap in the affects in ODD and can have drastically negative aspects in multiple areas in the life of a child.
A study with over 600 participants from the Department of Psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School found that children with ODD had trouble in social adjustment, and problems with peers at school. There is also a higher level of poor cohesion and higher levels of conflict within the family unit.
Anger in Children of Divorce
Divorce can take a toll on a child’s behavior, and conflict and excessive anger in divorced families may lead to ODD. Stepchildren may also develop resentment toward their biological parents which is difficult to channel. Children may hide or even deny this anger, but it will emerge in times of great stress. This is why it is so important that parents considering divorce do the best to keep children informed and nurtured.
For more information regarding how your divorce is affecting your children and how you can best approach the situation with minimal negative effects, contact the child custody attorneys at The Sampair Group.