Some of the criteria for oppositional defiant disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistic Manual of Mental Disorders 5 include three categories: angry and irritable mood, argumentative and defiant behavior, and vindictiveness, according to Mayo Clinic. To make a diagnosis of oppositional defiant disorder, there must be at least four symptoms present from any of the three categories, the behavior must have been occurring for more than six months and must be causing significant problems in school or the home.
Children with oppositional defiant disorder may display an angry or irritable mood in several ways, including often losing their temper, being touchy or easily annoyed by others, and often being angry and resentful, explains Mayo Clinic. In the category of argumentative and defiant behavior, children with this disorder may argue with adults or other authority figures, defy or refuse to comply with rules or requests, deliberately annoy people and blame others for misbehavior. Children with oppositional defiant disorder are also often spiteful and vindictive toward others.
Severity factors into the oppositional defiant disorder diagnosis, according to Mayo Clinic. In the mild form, children only display symptoms in one setting: school, home, work or with peers. In the moderate form, symptoms occur in at least two different settings. In the severe form, children demonstrate symptoms of oppositional defiant disorder in three or more settings.