ODD is characterized by disobedient, rebellious and negative behaviour. There is a gradual appearance of quarrels with adults, and outbreaks of rage, anger and resentment, which range from slight to annoying. The child transgresses rules and laws of authority figures, behaves rebelliously towards them and provokes their anger. He or she tends to blame others for his/her mistakes and behaviour.
It is extremely rare that ODD does not appear at home, but it does definitely happen that its expression in other frameworks is minor. Generally the start of the clinical expression is at home, and at a later stage it spreads to educational and social frameworks outside the home. In this case, the child is likely to suffer from relatively lower academic achievement than his/her ability warrants and social isolation. Then, damage to self-esteem, mood disorders and substance abuse are liable to appear.
Especially worrisome is the evolution of the disorder to CD. In this case, symptoms will appear that pose a threat to others' rights: bullying, arson, abuse of humans and animals, sexual assault, theft and more. Obviously, the individual clinical expression of the symptoms will be in accordance with the child's age and developmental stage.
The age of onset of ODD is early childhood, whereas the age of onset of CD is early adolescence, although it is possible to diagnose it as early as at age 8. There are researchers who see a developmental progression between the two disorders, but this issue remains open to research. The age of onset seems to be earlier in children who also suffer from ADHD .
The average prevalence reported in current available studies is 6% of all boys and 11% of all girls for ODD, and 7-8% of boys and 3-4% of girls for CD . Other researchers report an even higher prevalence for ODD, fluctuating between 5% and 25% .
According to a survey conducted by Burke et al. , ODD is a relatively benign disorder, but it increases the risk for CD. The frequency of the development of ODD to CD in girls is not clear, since girls tend to develop CD without a history of ODD. It is also not clear if the less serious characteristics of CD in girls, such as lying, develop into more serious ones, such as theft.
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