Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) and conduct disorder (CD) in children and adolescents

It is typical for children and adolescents to exhibit oppositional behaviour to adults. Lying, fighting and teasing others can also occur in normally developing children and adolescents. However, if the behaviour violates the rights of others or clearly creates conflicts with generally prevailing norms or authority figures, it is considered to be an oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) or a conduct disorder (CD) (DSM-5, A.P.A., 2013).
A proper diagnosis requires thorough knowledge of the pathogenesis of these disorders (Matthys, 2011). It is sometimes assumed that oppositional, antisocial and aggressive symptoms are primarily caused by unfavourable environmental factors. In recent years, however, it has become increasingly clear that child characteristics, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), reading disability and neurobiological factors, play an important role in the occurrence of oppositional defiant disorder and conduct disorder. Since diagnostics are performed partly based on the knowledge of the pathogenesis, the risk factors for behavioural disorders will be briefly discussed. First, however, the symptomatology and the two DSM-5 categories for behavioural disorders will be addressed.

(Source: the Dutch Knowledge Centre for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry expert group on ODD/CD).