Disruptive, impulse-control, and conduct disorders represent a group of conditions characterized by an individual’s inability to conform to societal norms, leading to significant distress and impairment in personal, social, and/or academic functioning. This chapter aims to provide psychology residents with a comprehensive understanding of these disorders, ensuring a solid foundation for clinical practice and exam preparation.

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Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD)

  • Characterized by a pattern of angry/irritable mood, argumentative/defiant behavior, or vindictiveness lasting at least 6 months.
  • Often presents in early childhood.
  • Children are at an increased risk of ODD when there is inconsistency in childcare due to multiple caregivers, or where child-rearing is characterized by harshness, inconsistency, or neglect.
  • Associated with academic and social difficulties:
    • Hostile behavior towards authority figures
    • Yendency to talk back
    • Persistent refusal to do chores
    • Annoyance towards friends
  • Neuroimaging has shown decreased size of brain structures responsible for emotional processing and self-control (amygdala, insula, and frontal cortex)
  • Patients with ODD have an increased risk of developing conduct disorder and antisocial personality disorder.
Table of Treatment Approaches for Oppositional Defiant Disorder
Treatment Approaches for Oppositional Defiant Disorder

*Second-generation antipsychotics may be used in combination with Psychotherapy in patients with severe aggression or irritability.


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