Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Treatment


Phillip W. Long, M.D.
September 1995

Contents


Medical Treatment

Basic Principles
Research has shown that oppositional defiant disorder is relatively persistent (75% of children with this diagnosis still fulfill the criteria several years later). The majority of children with oppositional defiant disorder do not develop conduct disorder. Research hasn't yet identified what happens to these children in adulthood. Few, if any, controlled studies are available on the treatment outcome of oppositional defiant disorder.

Stimulant Drugs
Stimulant medication is indicated only when oppositional defiant disorder coexists with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. No research is currently available on the use of other psychiatric drugs in the treatment of oppositional defiant disorder.

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Psychosocial Treatment

Basic Principles
Parent management training focuses on teaching the parents more effective, specific techniques for handling the child's opposition and defiance.

Individual Psychotherapy
There is no research on the success rate of individual psychotherapy in the treatment of this disorder. However, it is known that individual psychotherapy for this disorder has a dropout rate of 30% a year.

Family Therapy
The effectiveness of family therapy for this disorder has not yet been properly researched.

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Internet Mental Health (www.mentalhealth.com) copyright 1995-2011 by Phillip W. Long, M.D.