Disruptive behavior disorders in children can closely resemble attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), particularly where impulsivity and hyperactivity are involved, but ADHD, oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), and conduct disorder (CD) are considered separate conditions that can occur independently.

As the names imply, ADHD describes behavior that is impulsive and restless; ODD has to do with defying authority and lashing out uncooperatively, and CD describes behavior that is aggressive or destructive to the point of delinquent.

About one-third of all children with ADHD also have ODD, and up to one quarter also have CD.

Children with both conditions tend to have more difficult lives than those with ADHD alone because their defiant behavior leads to so many conflicts with adults and others with whom they interact.

Early identification and treatment may increase the chances a child can learn to control these behaviors.