Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry

Publisher: Association for Child Psychology and Psychiatry, Blackwell Publishing


The Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry is internationally recognised to be the leading journal covering both child and adolescent psychology and psychiatry. Articles published include experimental and developmental studies, especially those relating to developmental psychopathology and the developmental disorders. An important function of the Journal is to bring together empirical research, clinical studies and reviews of high quality arising from different theoretical perspectives.

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  • Website
    Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines, The website
  • Other titles
    Journal of child psychology and psychiatry and allied disciplines (Online), Journal of child psychology and psychiatry
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  • Material type
    Document, Periodical, Internet resource
  • Document type
    Internet Resource, Computer File, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publisher details

Blackwell Publishing

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    • Some journals impose embargoes typically of 6 or 12 months, occasionally of 24 months
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    • See Wiley-Blackwell entry for articles after February 2007
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    • Server must be non-commercial
    • Publisher copyright and source must be acknowledged with set statement ("The definitive version is available at ")
    • Articles in some journals can be made Open Access on payment of additional charge
    • 'Blackwell Publishing' is an imprint of 'Wiley-Blackwell'
  • Classification
    ​ yellow

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: For decades now twin, family and adoption studies have pointed to a substantial role for genetic factors in risk for psychiatric disorder. Behaviour genetic studies are not, of course, designed to tell us about the ‘genetic architecture’ of disorders – the number of risk variants involved, their frequency, or their effects sizes – but their findings clearly suggest that given the high levels of heritability detected, identifying the gene variants involved could provide important pointers to aetiology, and might well have implications for treatment. In and of themselves heritability findings have little practical value as a basis for a translational genetics of psychiatric disorders. They cannot help us identify pathophysiological pathways that need to be targeted through therapeutic innovation or inform the sort of tailoring of treatments to individual biological ‘types’ to promote personalized medicine. To do these things we need to move from estimating heritability to identifying specific genetic markers implicating specific neuro-biological systems.
    Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 10/2014; 55(10).
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    ABSTRACT: This month's collation of papers deals with social behaviors that operationalize key constructs in fields covered by the journal, including attachment theory and parenting; emotional regulation; psychopathology of several forms; general and specific cognitive abilities. Notably, many examples are offered of how these social behaviors link with biology. That is an obvious and important direction for clinical research insofar as it helps to erase a perceptual chasm and artificial duality between ‘behavior’ and ‘biology’. But, although it must be the case that social behavior has biological connections of one sort or other, identifying reliable connections with practical application has proved to be a non-trivial challenge. In particular, the challenge seems to be in measuring social behavior meaningfully enough that it could be expected to have a biological pulse, and in measuring biological markers systematically enough that emergent-downstream effects would surface. Associations are not especially uncommon, but it has been a frustrating task in constructing a practically broad model from a bricolage of scattered and disconnected parts and findings in the literature. Several reports in this issue offer contrasts that may help move along this line of study.
    Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 09/2014; 55(9).
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    ABSTRACT: The disconnection hypothesis of schizophrenia has been extensively tested in adults. Recent studies have reported the presence of brain disconnection in younger patients, adding evidence to support the neurodevelopmental hypothesis of schizophrenia. Because of drug confounds in chronic and medicated patients, it has been extremely challenging for researchers to directly investigate abnormalities in the development of connectivity and their role in the pathophysiology of schizophrenia. The present study aimed to examine functional homotopy - a measure of interhemispheric connection - and its relevance to clinical symptoms in first-episode drug-naïve early-onset schizophrenia (EOS) patients.
    Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Background With growing interest in resilience among mental health care providers globally, there is a need for a simple way to consider the complex interactions that predict adaptive coping when there is exposure to high levels of adversity such as family violence, mental illness of a child or caregiver, natural disasters, social marginalization, or political conflict.Methods This article presents diagnostic criteria for assessing childhood resilience in a way that is sensitive to the systemic factors that influence a child's wellbeing. The most important characteristics of children who cope well under adversity and avoid problems like depression, PTSD, and delinquency are highlighted.ResultsA multidimensional assessment of resilience is presented that examines, first, the severity, chronicity, ecological level, children's attributions of causality, and cultural and contextual relevance of experiences of adversity. Second, promotive and protective factors related to resilience are assessed with sensitivity to the differential impact these have on outcomes depending on a child's level of exposure to adversity. These factors include individual qualities like temperament, personality, and cognitions, as well as contextual dimensions of positive functioning related to the available and accessibility of resources, their strategic use, positive reinforcement by a child's significant others, and the adaptive capacity of the environment itself. Third, an assessment of resilience includes temporal and cultural factors that increase or decrease the influence of protective factors. A decision tree for the diagnosis of resilience is presented, followed by a case study and diagnosis of a 15-year-old boy who required treatment for a number of mental health challenges.Conclusions The diagnostic criteria for assessing resilience and its application to clinical practice demonstrate the potential usefulness of a systemic approach to understanding resilience among child populations.
    Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The puzzle of the disparity between molecular- and traditional behaviour genetic study findings has prompted widespread discussion. Fundamental questions have been raised across the whole field of complex genetic traits as well as for behavioural traits. We consider explanations for recent findings and discuss what they mean for the field of developmental psychopathology.
    Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Background Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a risk factor for substance use disorders (SUDs) and nicotine dependence (ND). Neurocognitive deficits may predict the increased risk of developing SUDs and nicotine dependence.Methods This study comprised three groups derived from the Dutch part of the International Multicenter ADHD Genetics (IMAGE) study: ADHD probands (n = 294), unaffected siblings (n = 161), and controls (n = 214). At baseline (age = 12.2), a range of neurocognitive functions was assessed including executive functions (inhibition, working memory, timing), measures of motor functioning (motor timing and tracking) and IQ. After a mean follow-up of 4.2 years, SUDs and ND were assessed.ResultsNone of the neurocognitive functions predicted later SUDs or ND in ADHD probands, even after controlling for medication use and conduct disorder. Slower response inhibition predicted later nicotine dependence in unaffected siblings (OR = 2.06, 95% CI = 1.22–3.48), and lower IQ predicted increased risk for SUDs in controls (OR = 1.96, 95% CI = 1.12–3.44).Conclusions Cold executive functions, motor functioning, and IQ did not predict the elevated risk of SUDs and ND in ADHD. Future studies should target ‘hot’ executive functions such as reward processing as risk factors for SUDs or ND.
    Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Background Deficits in facial emotion processing, reported in attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), have been linked to both early perceptual and later attentional components of event-related potentials (ERPs). However, the neural underpinnings of vocal emotion processing deficits in ADHD have yet to be characterised. Here, we report the first ERP study of vocal affective prosody processing in ADHD.Methods Event-related potentials of 6–11-year-old children with ADHD (n = 25) and typically developing controls (n = 25) were recorded as they completed a task measuring recognition of vocal prosodic stimuli (angry, happy and neutral). Audiometric assessments were conducted to screen for hearing impairments.ResultsChildren with ADHD were less accurate than controls at recognising vocal anger. Relative to controls, they displayed enhanced N100 and attenuated P300 components to vocal anger. The P300 effect was reduced, but remained significant, after controlling for N100 effects by rebaselining. Only the N100 effect was significant when children with ADHD and comorbid conduct disorder (n = 10) were excluded.Conclusion This study provides the first evidence linking ADHD to atypical neural activity during the early perceptual stages of vocal anger processing. These effects may reflect preattentive hyper-vigilance to vocal anger in ADHD.
    Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Background While limited evidence suggests that omega-3 supplementation may reduce antisocial behavior in children, studies have not reported on posttreatment follow-up and most treatment periods have been of short duration. This study tests the hypothesis that omega-3 supplementation over 6 months will reduce behavior problems in children both at the end of treatment and at 6 months post treatment.Methods In this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, stratified, parallel-group trial, a community sample of 8–16 year old children were randomized into a treatment group (N = 100) and a placebo-control group (N = 100). The supplementation consisted of a fruit drink containing 1 g/day of omega-3 or a placebo consisting of the same fruit drink without omega-3. Participants, caregivers, and research assistants were blinded to group assignment. The primary outcome measures of externalizing and internalizing behavior problems were reported by both caregivers and their children in a laboratory setting at 0 months (baseline), 6 months (end of treatment) and 12 months (6 months post treatment), together with the secondary outcome measures of parental antisocial behavior. Data were analyzed on an intention-to-treat basis including all participants. Trial registration: group × time interactions were observed with the treatment group showing long-term improvements in child behavior problems. The average posttreatment effect size was d = −.59. Effects were documented for parent reports, but with the exception of proactive and reactive aggression, child-report data were nonsignificant. Parents whose children took omega-3 showed significant posttreatment reductions in their own antisocial and aggressive behavior. This improvement in caregiver behavior partly mediated the improvements observed in child behavior.Conclusions Findings provide initial evidence that omega-3 supplementation can produce sustained reductions in externalizing and internalizing behavior problems. Results are the first to report improvements in caregiver behavior, and to establish this improvement as a part-mechanism for the efficacy of omega-3.
    Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Rutter's commentary (Rutter, 2014) on our article (Munafò et al., 2014) provides us the opportunity to clarify some issues that he (and therefore, we suspect, others) may have misunderstood.
    Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Background Knowledge on the significance of childhood psychotic symptoms and experiences (PE) is still limited. This study aimed to investigate the prevalence and clinical significance of PE in preadolescent children from the general population by use of in-depth psychopathological interviews and comprehensive diagnostic assessments.Methods We investigated 1,632 children from the general population-based Copenhagen Child Cohort 2000. PE were measured by semistructured interviews using the K-SADS-PL-items on psychotic and affective symptoms, each symptom scored as not present versus likely or definitely present. The Development and Well-Being Assessment (DAWBA) was used independently to diagnose DSM-IV-mental disorders. Puberty development and sleep disturbance were self-reported. The associations between PE (any lifetime hallucination and/or delusion) and various mental problems and disorders were examined by multivariable binomial regression analyses, adjusting for gender and onset of puberty.ResultsThe weighted life time prevalence of PE at age 11–12 years was 10.9% (CI 9.1–12.7). The majority of children with PE (n = 172) either had a diagnosable DSM-IV-mental disorder (31.4%) or self-reported mental health difficulties in absence of a diagnosis (31.4%). The risk of delusions increased with onset of puberty. The risk of PE increased with emotional and neurodevelopmental disorders, subthreshold depressive symptoms, sleep problems and lack of sleep, regardless of whether PE were expressed as hallucinations and/or delusions. The highest correlations were seen for emotional and multiple disorders.Conclusions Psychotic experiences are particularly prevalent in the context of affective dysregulation and sleep disturbance, increase with onset of puberty and represent a trans-diagnostic marker of psychopathology.
    Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Background Psychoeducation is an essential component of postdiagnostic care for people with ASD (autism spectrum disorder), but there is currently no evidence base for clinical practice. We designed, manualised and evaluated PEGASUS (psychoeducation group for autism spectrum understanding and support), a group psychoeducational programme aiming to enhance the self-awareness of young people with ASD by teaching them about their diagnosis.Methods This single-blind RCT (randomised control trial) involved 48 young people (9–14 years) with high-functioning ASD. Half were randomly assigned to PEGASUS, administered in six weekly group sessions, with the others receiving no additional intervention. ASD-related self-awareness, the primary outcome, was evaluated using the bespoke Autism Knowledge Quiz (AKQ). Secondary outcome measures included the Rosenberg Self-Esteem Scale. All measures were collected during home visits and scored by researchers blind to group assignment. The trial is registered on ClinicalTrials (NCT01187940, and was funded by the Baily Thomas Charitable Trust.ResultsBootstrap multiple regression showed ASD knowledge (β = .29, p < .001, 95% CIs [0.13, 0.44]) and ASD self-awareness (β = .42, p = .001, 95% CIs [0.17, 0.67]), measured by number of ASD-related personal strengths and difficulties listed by participants, increased for those who attended PEGASUS (n = 24) compared with controls (n = 24). There was no effect of PEGASUS on self-esteem by self-report (β = .10, p = .404, 95% CIs [−0.14, 0.35]) or parent report (β = .12, p = .324, 95% CIs [−0.12, 0.36]).Conclusions After PEGASUS, participants had more general knowledge about ASD, and showed a greater awareness of their collection of unique strengths and difficulties associated with ASD. Psychoeducation did not lower self-esteem. This RCT provides initial evidence for PEGASUS's efficacy as a psychoeducation programme for people with ASD.
    Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Background There is increasing interest in oxytocin as a therapeutic to treat social deficits in autism spectrum disorders (ASD). The aim of this study was to investigate the efficacy of a course of oxytocin nasal spray to improve social behavior in youth with ASD.Methods In a double-blind, placebo-controlled trial across two Australian university sites between February 2009 and January 2012, 50 male participants aged between 12 and 18 years, with Autistic or Asperger's Disorder, were randomized to receive either oxytocin (n = 26) or placebo (n = 24) nasal sprays (either 18 or 24 International Units), administered twice-daily for 8 weeks. Participants were assessed at baseline, after 4- and 8-weeks of treatment, and at 3-month follow-up. Primary outcomes were change in total scores on the caregiver-completed Social Responsiveness Scale and clinician-ratings on the Clinical Global Impressions-Improvement scale. Secondary assessments included caregiver reports of repetitive and other developmental behaviors and social cognition. Clinical trial registration: Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry ACTRN12609000513213.ResultsParticipants who received oxytocin showed no benefit following treatment on primary or secondary outcomes. However, caregivers who believed their children received oxytocin reported greater improvements compared to caregivers who believed their child received placebo. Nasal sprays were well tolerated and there was no evidence of increased side effects resulting from oxytocin administration.Conclusions This is the first evaluation of the efficacy for a course of oxytocin treatment for youth with ASD. Although results did not suggest clinical efficacy, further research is needed to explore alternative delivery methods, earlier age of intervention, and the influence of caregiver expectation on treatment response.
    Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Background Despite evidence from twin and family studies for an important contribution of genetic factors to both childhood and adult onset psychiatric disorders, identifying robustly associated specific DNA variants has proved challenging. In the pregenomics era the genetic architecture (number, frequency and effect size of risk variants) of complex genetic disorders was unknown. Empirical evidence for the genetic architecture of psychiatric disorders is emerging from the genetic studies of the last 5 years.Methods and scopeWe review the methods investigating the polygenic nature of complex disorders. We provide mini-guides to genomic profile (or polygenic) risk scoring and to estimation of variance (or heritability) from common SNPs; a glossary of key terms is also provided. We review results of applications of the methods to psychiatric disorders and related traits and consider how these methods inform on missing heritability, hidden heritability and still-missing heritability.FindingsGenome-wide genotyping and sequencing studies are providing evidence that psychiatric disorders are truly polygenic, that is they have a genetic architecture of many genetic variants, including risk variants that are both common and rare in the population. Sample sizes published to date are mostly underpowered to detect effect sizes of the magnitude presented by nature, and these effect sizes may be constrained by the biological validity of the diagnostic constructs.Conclusions Increasing the sample size for genome wide association studies of psychiatric disorders will lead to the identification of more associated genetic variants, as already found for schizophrenia. These loci provide the starting point of functional analyses that might eventually lead to new prevention and treatment options and to improved biological validity of diagnostic constructs. Polygenic analyses will contribute further to our understanding of complex genetic traits as sample sizes increase and as sample resources become richer in phenotypic descriptors, both in terms of clinical symptoms and of nongenetic risk factors.
    Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The accompanying Practitioner Review by Munafò et al. (2014) presents two main arguments: (1) that there are few (if any) examples of G × E in psychiatry so it cannot aid gene discovery, and (2) that genome-wide association studies (GWAS) are already yielding important findings. With respect to the supposed weakness of G × E research, they fail to mention any of the substantial body of evidence in support of G × E – see various chapters in Dodge and Rutter (2011).
    Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 08/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: This contribution discusses the article by Lewis et al. on the relationship between variation in normal personality and adolescent behavioural problems and puts the study into the perspective of the value of twin studies of multivariate behavioural traits, which enable the analyses of genetic pleiotropy and causality.
    Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry 08/2014; 55(8).

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