Novel Oppositional Defiant Disorder 6 Months After Traumatic Brain Injury in Children and Adolescents

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Posted on April 9, 2022 by childrenslearninginstitute


November 12, 2021


The Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences

CLI Author:

Linda Ewing-Cobbs, PhD


Objective: The investigators aimed to assess predictive factors of novel oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) among children and adolescents in the first 6 months following traumatic brain injury (TBI).

Methods: Children ages 5-14 years who experienced a TBI were recruited from consecutive admissions to five hospitals. Testing of a biopsychosocial model that may elucidate the development of novel ODD included assessment soon after injury (baseline) of preinjury characteristics, including psychiatric disorders, adaptive function, family function, psychosocial adversity, family psychiatric history, socioeconomic status, injury severity, and postinjury processing speed (which may be a proxy for brain injury). MRI analyses were also conducted to examine potential brain lesions. Psychiatric outcome, including that of novel ODD, was assessed 6 months after the injury.

Results: A total of 177 children and adolescents were recruited for the study, and 134 who were without preinjury ODD, conduct disorder, or disruptive behavior disorder not otherwise specified (DBD NOS) returned for the 6-month assessment. Of those who returned 6 months postinjury, 11 (8.2%) developed novel ODD, and none developed novel conduct disorder or DBD NOS. Novel ODD was significantly associated with socioeconomic status, preinjury family functioning, psychosocial adversity, and processing speed.

Conclusions: These findings show that an important minority of children with TBI developed ODD. Psychosocial and injury-related variables, including socioeconomic status, lower family function, psychosocial adversity, and processing speed, significantly increase risk for this outcome.


Lowet, Daniel & Kolan, Anish & Vaida, Florin & Hesselink, John & Levin, Harvey & Ewing-Cobbs, Linda & Schachar, Russell & Chapman, Sandra & Bigler, Erin & Wilde, Elisabeth & Saunders, Ann & Yang, Tony & Tymofiyeva, Olga & Arif, Hattan & Max, Jeffrey. (2021). Novel Oppositional Defiant Disorder 6 Months After Traumatic Brain Injury in Children and Adolescents. The Journal of Neuropsychiatry and Clinical Neurosciences. 34. 10.1176/appi.neuropsych.21020052.