Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Topics: Oppositional defiant disorder, Dimension, Psychology Pages: 8 (1924 words) Published: December 5, 2014

Oppositional Defiant Disorder: Case Study and Research
Samantha L. Carlo
Suffolk County Community College
PSY 213, Exceptional Child

Oppositional Defiant Disorder: Case Study and Research
Abel Keller is an English-speaking and physically healthy four-year-old boy. He lives with his mother and eighteen-year-old sister, and attends preschool during the week. Abel’s mother works seven days a week and he is supervised on the weekends by a nanny. His current nanny began working for the family fairly recently; the two nannies prior to her both worked for less than two months before quitting. Abel’s parents have been divorced for two years. His mother is his primary care-giver and his father sees him infrequently. Lately, Abel’s mother and preschool teacher have been unable to cope with his disruptive and distressing behaviors. Abel’s teacher estimates that his disruptive behaviors began at the beginning of the school year, which was approximately eight months ago; his mother says that the behaviors began roughly one year ago and have been increasing in severity and frequency since then. Abel’s sister has also voiced concerns regarding her brother’s spiteful actions towards her due to the strain his recent behaviors have put on their relationship (APA, 2013). Abel’s mother reports that Abel cannot go more than two days without becoming extremely irritated with necessary daily tasks. Once, Abel’s mother requested that he go wash his hands before dinner. Abel became irrationally frustrated, blatantly refused to wash his hands, and began lashing out in a manner which she describes as “one of his tantrums.” Abel’s mother also describes an instance in which their last nanny was on the receiving end of Abel’s disruptive behavior. The nanny took away Abel’s toy at his refusal to brush his teeth and get ready for bed, and later found her toothbrush in the toilet boil. After further acts of blatant defiance by Abel, the nanny resigned and Abel’s mother was forced to find a new nanny. Abel exhibited a similar behavior towards his sister when she asked him if he could grab her a pencil for her homework. Abel was instantly irritated at this request and yelled “Don’t tell me what to do!” He then proceeded to rip up her homework and run to his room. According to his mother, destruction of property in such an aggressive manner has been very infrequent in Abel’s behavior. However, his spitefulness resulted in the loss of a nanny and his sister’s increasing emotional distress that her “sweet baby brother” has taken on such a resentful attitude towards her (APA, 2013). Abel’s preschool teacher told his mother that his behavior will no longer be tolerated and recommended that he be assessed. His teacher explains his behaviors in class as “defiant and disruptive.” Almost daily, he actively ignores class rules, such as not talking during reading time, and becomes even more defiant when his violations are addressed by the teacher. His teacher has paused class multiple times to stop him from distracting either the whole class or individual students. She reports that the most troublesome aspects of Abel’s behavior are the frequency of the disruptions and his responses to being reprimanded. Once, when a classmate went to the teacher after Abel ignored her plea that he stop poking her arm, Abel became outwardly more motivated to continue poking her relentlessly. When his teacher explained why his behavior is unacceptable, Abel accused the classmate that he had been poking of initiating the incident and provoking him by being “annoying.” Abel’s teacher reports that he has yet to accept blame or responsibility for any of his misdoings and that he is often ostracized by his peers. Classmates have called him “annoying” and “ a tattle-tale.” Teachers discourage this taunting behavior, but the discrimination has led to further emotional distress within Abel which has been exhibited by more...

References: American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Section II: Disruptive, impulse-control, and conduct
disorders. Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). New York: APA Press.
Burke, J. D., Boylan, K., Rowe, R., Duku, E., Stepp, S. D., Hipwell, A. E., & Waldman, I. D.
(2014). Identifying the irritability dimension of ODD: Application of a modified bifactor model across five large community samples of children. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 1-11.
Dinolfo, M. & Malti, T. (2013). Interpretive understanding, sympathy, and moral emotion
attribution in oppositional defiant disorder symptomatology. Child Psychiatry & Human
Development, 44, 633-645.
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