Behavioral Issues in Children Caused by ADHD

Behavioral Issues in Children Caused by ADHD

One of the most important matters before starting this writing is to know about ADHD. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a mental illness or psychiatric disorder of the neurodevelopmental type. It is the most frequently diagnosed psychological disorder in children. Usually, ADHD is diagnosed in school-aged children and in some cases in teens which can remain till adulthood. Many children with ADHD face difficulties in their studies and in following instructions.

These characteristics create problems in school and at home. According to WHO ADHD is said to be present in those children who cannot do at least two things properly when studies, recreational activities, and home behavior are taken into account. How children or adults with ADHD are diagnosed is a debatable topic. Today, behavioral issues in children caused by ADHD will be reviewed along with the types of behavior disorders, their causes, symptoms, and their possible treatments.

Types of Behavior Disorders:

Approximately, 50% of children with ADHD develop two similar disorders; conduct disorder (CD) and oppositional defiant disorder (ODD). Common symptoms of ODD in children are irritable moods, vindictiveness towards people near him/her, impatience, arguing, ignoring requests, a frequent anger pattern, and engaging in annoying behavior. And almost, one-third to half of all children with ADHD have ODD. ODD occurs equally in boys and girls with ADHD.

In some cases, children with ADHD develop CD. Habitually, these children are disobedient and have disruptive behavior. Conduct disorder may occur in 45% of teenagers and 25% of Children with ADHD. Conduct disorder (CD) also occurs equally in boys and girls. But it is more noticed in boys. Conduct disorder (CD) involves serious behaviors including continuum lying, demolition of property, and aggressiveness in behavior toward people. Sometimes even the best-behaved child denounces. Usually, every parent of a child with ODD or CD knows how to deal with ADD or ADHD-based behavior problems. But still, nearly half of all parents who have children with attention deficit disorder live with severe behavior.

Causes or Factors for Behavior Disorders:

It is estimated that about 10.2% of all children develop ODD or CD. The specific cause(s) of ODD is still to be established. It is usually believed that several factors work together resulting in a person developing the symptoms of CD or ODD. Numerous causes/factors that might play a role in the development of oppositional defiant disorder are:

Genetic Causes:

Generally, children who are diagnosed with ODD/CD usually have family members who also suffer or have suffered in the past from some psychiatric disorder or mental illness. Such illnesses can be irritable moods, anxiety disorders, and vindictiveness.

Physical Causes:

The appearance of ODD symptoms has been medically associated with the presence of abnormal amounts of neurotransmitters. Neurotransmitters are chemicals present in our brains. Neurotransmitters help to keep the other brain chemicals balanced. When an imbalance of brain chemicals exists and persists, neurotransmitters become unable to communicate properly with the brain and that might result in symptoms of ODD.

Environmental Causes:

The environment around anyone has a significant effect on his/her life and that can result in symptoms of ODD. If a child is surrounded by a chaotic home life where arguments, taunts, and violence are prevalent then the child’s mental health will surely be influenced and one facing all this might have moderate to severe symptoms of ODD.

Signs and Symptoms of Behavior Disorders:

The signs and symptoms of ODD and CD vary from person to person. There is a significant difference in how the symptoms exist in boys and girls. Here are a few symptoms that may be evident of a child having ODD.

    • Frustration

    • Disobedience

    • Revengeful behavior

    • Negative Thinking

    • Lack of Confidence

    • Arguing and fighting

    • Unwilling to compromise

    • Superiority towards others

    • Blames others for mistakes

    • Willingly destroying friendship

A child suffering from Conduct Disorder can have the following signs of being mentally challenged:

    • Aggression

    • Dishonesty

    • Destruction

    • Violation of rules

Treatment of Behavior Disorders:

ODD is a childhood disorder. Children with ODD/CD will argue with adults, disobey rules made by adults, and feel chronic anger and resentment towards anyone around them. Children with ADHD or ODD/CD develop serious behavior problems whether they have a diagnosis of ODD/CD or not. Treatment for ODD/CD varies on many factors, including the severity of symptoms, the child’s age, and one’s response to medication. Usually, ADHD or ODD/CD treatment consists of a combination of Parent Training, psychotherapy, and Medication.


Psychotherapy also known as cognitive therapy aims to reshape the child’s thinking to improve his/her behavior.


For Children with ADHD Central Nervous System, Stimulant medication is prescribed that helps to improve the patient’s behavior. Commonly prescribed medications for the treatment of ADHD are:

    • Adderall

    • Concerta

    • Vyvanse

    • Ritalin

Parent Training Programs:

The most effective mode of treatment is parent training. Usually, parent training consists of a combination of the following:

    • Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT)

    • Parent Management Training (PMT)

    • Defiant Teens

    • Positive Parenting Program (PPP)


Children who have ADHD, ODD, or CD and are left untreated may suffer long-lasting effects such as social isolation, lack of friendship, and difficulty in educational settings. If the disorder is mild with no treatment at all, then the patient might suffer continuous patterns of relationship conflicts, trying to control others and arguing with authority figures. Some other disorders that commonly intersect ADHD, ODD, or CD include:

    • Bipolar disorder

    • Anxiety disorders

    • Language disorders

    • Depressive disorders

    • Intermittent explosive disorder

    • Intellectual developmental disorder 

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