ODD Symptom Network during Preschool

Tess E. Smith, Christine A. Lee, Michelle M. Martel, Marni E. Axelrad

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Several different conceptualizations of Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) symptoms have been proposed, including one undivided set of symptoms (DSM-IV-TR; APA 2000); two domains of symptoms subdivided into affective and behavioral; and three domains of symptoms subdivided as angry/irritable, argumentative/defiant, and spiteful. The current study utilizes a novel approach to examining the division of ODD symptoms through use of network analysis. Participants were 109 preschoolers (64 male) between the ages of three and six (M = 4.34 years, SD = 1.08) and their parents and teachers/caregivers, who provided ratings of ODD symptoms. Results are consistent with one-, two-, and three- cluster solutions of ODD, but perhaps provide most support for the three-cluster solution. In addition, results support the idea that negative affect, particularly anger, forms the core of the ODD symptom network during preschool. These results suggest the importance of targeting anger in preschool interventions for ODD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)743-748
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Abnormal Child Psychology
Issue number4
StatePublished - May 1 2017

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We are indebted to the families who made this study possible. This research was supported by National Institute of Health and Human Development Grant 5R03 HD062599-02 to M. Martel. The authors declare no conflicts of interest. This study seeks to compare and contrast different strategies for ODD symptom clustering and identify core symptoms of ODD during preschool. Another study, also in press at JACP, examines the structure of the externalizing spectrum, including ADHD and ODD symptoms, from preschool into adolescence. A final study, in press at CPS, examines developmental change in the ADHD symptom network between preschool and young adulthood seeking to identify common core symptoms of ADHD across age ranges. The main overlap is between ODD symptom network examination in the first two papers; however the papers have entirely different goals and mostly diverging samples (with the exception of the preschool sample which overlaps between studies). Analytic strategy is also the same in both papers.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


  • Anger
  • Clusters
  • Network
  • ODD

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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