Skip to main navigation Skip to main content Skip to footer
  • For Medicare
  • For Providers
  • For Brokers
  • For Employers
  • Search
    Search
    Español
  • For Individuals & Families:
  • For Individuals & Families:
  • Shop for Plans

    Shop for Plans

    • Plans through your employer
    • Learn about the medical, dental, pharmacy, behavioral, and voluntary benefits your employer may offer.
    • Explore coverage through work
  • Log in to myCigna
  • Log in to myCigna
  • Shop for Plans

    Shop for Plans

  • Member Guide
  • Find a Doctor
  • Home Knowledge Center Oppositional Defiant Disorder

    Oppositional Defiant Disorder

    Symptoms and treatment can help manage this difficult disorder.

    How can I understand my mental health benefits?

    Dealing with a difficult child can be a hard part of parenthood. As they grow, typical children go through many phases. Challenging a parent’s authority comes along with some of these phases. But sometimes defiance crosses the line from typical behavior into a diagnosable behavior problem.

    Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) is a pattern of disobedient, hostile, and defiant behavior. The pattern must last for at least six months. And it must go beyond normal childhood misbehavior. Symptoms often first appear during the preschool years.

    What are the symptoms?

    According to MedlinePlus, symptoms of ODD include:1

    • Actively not following requests from adults.
    • Feeling angry and resentful of others.
    • Arguing with adults.
    • Blaming others for their own mistakes.
    • Having few or no friends, or having lost friends.
    • Getting in trouble constantly at school.
    • Losing their temper.
    • Acting spiteful or seeking revenge.
    • Being touchy or easily annoyed.

    How is it diagnosed?

    Other conditions can cause symptoms similar to those of ODD, therefore a careful assessment is needed in order to diagnose it. The assessment should look for earlier diagnoses. Related conditions include Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), bipolar disorder, and depression. In many cases, children may have a combination of disorders.

    How can I deal with oppositional behavior?

    If you're having trouble disciplining your children, try these strategies:

    • Set reasonable consequences that you can reinforce consistently.
    • Use time-outs or breaks if the conflict with your child gets worse.
    • Support your child if he decides he needs a time-out or break from a conflict.
    • Use positive reinforcement and praise when your child shows cooperation and flexibility.

    How is it treated?

    Try the strategies listed above. If your child’s symptoms continue, you may want to get help from a professional. Treatment may include:

    • Individual therapy: Individual therapy can help to improve communication skills. It can also help with anger management, problem-solving skills, and impulse control.
    • Family therapy: Family therapy can help improve family interaction. Family members will work on communication skills. Parents can learn more effective parenting approaches. They can also get support and resources.
    • Group parental training courses: These courses teach parents how to improve family interactions. Parents can also get support and tips from other parents.
    • Medication: Medication is usually not recommended for ODD. However, it may help ODD symptoms when a child has a second diagnosis (for example, ADD or ADHD).

    Dealing with ODD is hard work for a family, but many children with ODD will respond to positive parenting techniques. If you have questions or concerns, talk to your child's pediatrician.

    Tags

  • Children's Health
  • Therapy
  • Oppositional defiant disorder, MedlinePlus, March 10, 2020, https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/001537.htm

    This material is provided by Cigna HealthcareSM for informational/educational purposes only. It is not medical/clinical advice. Only a health care provider can make a diagnosis or recommend a treatment plan. For more information about your behavioral health benefits, you can call the member services or behavioral health telephone number listed on your health care ID card.

    I want to...
  • Get an ID card
  • File a claim
  • View my claims and EOBs
  • Check coverage under my plan
  • See prescription drug list
  • Find an in-network doctor, dentist, or facility
  • Find a form
  • Find 1095-B tax form information
  • View the Cigna Healthcare Glossary
  • Contact Cigna Healthcare
  • Audiences
  • Individuals and Families
  • Medicare
  • Employers
  • Brokers
  • Providers
  • Secure Member Sites
  • myCigna member portal
  • Health Care Provider portal
  • Cigna for Employers
  • Client Resource Portal
  • Cigna for Brokers
  • The Cigna Group Information
  • About Cigna Healthcare
  • The Cigna Group
  • Careers
  • Newsroom
  • Investors
  • Suppliers
  • Third Party Administrators
  • International
  • Evernorth Health Services
  • Cigna Healthcare. All rights reserved.
  • Privacy
  • Legal
  • Product Disclosures
  • Company Names
  • Customer Rights
  • Accessibility
  • Non-Discrimination Notice
  • Language Assistance [PDF]
  • Report Fraud
  • Sitemap
  • Cookie Settings
  • Disclaimer

    Individual and family medical and dental insurance plans are insured by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (CHLIC), Cigna HealthCare of Arizona, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Illinois, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Georgia, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of North Carolina, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of South Carolina, Inc., and Cigna HealthCare of Texas, Inc. Group health insurance and health benefit plans are insured or administered by CHLIC, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (CGLIC), or their affiliates (see a listing of the legal entities that insure or administer group HMO, dental HMO, and other products or services in your state). Accidental Injury, Critical Illness, and Hospital Care plans or insurance policies are distributed exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of The Cigna Group Corporation, are administered by Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, and are insured by either (i) Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (Bloomfield, CT); (ii) Life Insurance Company of North America (“LINA”) (Philadelphia, PA); or (iii) New York Life Group Insurance Company of NY (“NYLGICNY”) (New York, NY), formerly known as Cigna Life Insurance Company of New York. The Cigna Healthcare name, logo, and other Cigna Healthcare marks are owned by The Cigna Group Intellectual Property, Inc. LINA and NYLGICNY are not affiliates of The Cigna Group.

    All insurance policies and group benefit plans contain exclusions and limitations. For availability, costs and complete details of coverage, contact a licensed agent or Cigna Healthcare sales representative. This website is not intended for residents of New Mexico.

    Selecting these links will take you away from Cigna.com to another website, which may be a non-Cigna Healthcare website. Cigna Healthcare may not control the content or links of non-Cigna Healthcare websites. Details