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What causes Oppositional Defiance Disorder?

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One theory is chemical imbalance in the brain. ODD has been linked to abnormal amounts of special chemicals called neurotransmitters which help nerve cells in the brain communicate with each other. When these chemicals are out of balance or dysfunctional, communication in the brain is jeopardized which may account for explosive behavior. Another theory is that Oppositional Defiance Disorder can be caused by environmental factors such as negative family interactions or reactions to food allergens. The most recent theory suggests that hyperactive and explosive behavior is caused by a delay in brain maturation. The most comprehensive study of this theory to date is done by Dr. Ross W. Greene of Harvard Medical School. He and several colleagues have found the presence of delayed cognitive skills among children who are challenged behaviorally --specifically in emotional regulation, language processing, social information processing--all of which come under the executive functioning of the ... more
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