Oppositional Defiant Disorder Pediatric Research and Clinical Trials

Research & Innovation

Here at Boston Children’s Hospital, we refine our treatment methods through careful analysis of sophisticated scientific data. Our research program is one of the largest and most active of any pediatric hospital in the world, and our research in psychiatry and psychology supports our goal of enhancing mental health care for all children and families.

We continue to work toward critical new insights that can propel advances in preventing, diagnosing and treating behavioral and mental health disorders. Our progress in the laboratory strengthens the exceptional care we provide at each child's bedside.

Among our current research projects with promise for treating oppositional defiant disorder are:

Incorporating mindfulness as a parenting modification strategy

Boston Children’s is conducting a study of mindfulness techniques, which combine elements of traditional Buddhist meditation with the practice of consciously reflecting on one’s thoughts. Should these techniques prove useful, they will be added to the parenting modification strategies we teach as part of our family treatment plans for ODD.

Using a computer game to teach children emotional control

Incorporating advances in neurobiology and computer science, Boston Children’s clinicians are designing special interventions to help kids learn to better control their emotions.

Boston Children’s Psychopharmacology Clinic chief, Joseph Gonzalez-Heydrich, MD, working with colleagues Peter Ducharme, LICSW, and Jason Kahn, PhD, has developed a computer game called “RAGE-Control (Regulate and Gain Emotional Control).” Using the popular arcade staple, “Space Invaders,” as a model, RAGE-Control teaches children to simultaneously focus, react, inhibit impulses and keep their heart rate down.

The game is now being tested in a clinical trial on Boston Children’s Inpatient. Read more about RAGE-Control.