Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology (J Abnorm Child Psychol )

Publisher: Springer Verlag


Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology brings together the latest research on psychopathology in childhood and adolescence with an emphasis on empirical studies of the ma or childhood disorders (the disruptive behavior disorders depression anxiety and pervasive developmental disorders). Studies focus on the epidemiology etiology assessment treatment prognosis follow-up and developmental course of child and adolescent disorders. Studies highlighting risk and protective factors the ecology and correlates of children's behavior problems and advances in prevention and treatment are featured. The Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology is the official journal of the International Society for Research in Child and Adolescent Psychopathology a multidisciplinary scientific society.

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  • 5-year impact
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  • Immediacy index
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  • Website
    Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology website
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  • Document type
    Computer File, Journal / Magazine / Newspaper

Publisher details

Springer Verlag

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    • Author can archive a pre-print version
  • Post-print
    • Author can archive a post-print version
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    • Authors own final version only can be archived
    • Publisher's version/PDF cannot be used
    • On author's website or institutional repository
    • On funders designated website/repository after 12 months at the funders request or as a result of legal obligation
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    • Must link to publisher version
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    • Articles in some journals can be made Open Access on payment of additional charge
  • Classification
    ​ green

Publications in this journal

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: A substantial body of literature suggests that anxiety sensitivity is a risk factor for the development of anxiety problems and research has now begun to examine the links between parenting, parent anxiety sensitivity and their child's anxiety sensitivity. However, the extant literature has provided mixed findings as to whether parent anxiety sensitivity is associated with child anxiety sensitivity, with some evidence suggesting that other factors may influence the association. Theoretically, specific parenting behaviors may be important to the development of child anxiety sensitivity and also in understanding the association between parent and child anxiety sensitivity. In this study, 191 families (n = 255 children and adolescents aged 6-17 and their parents) completed measures of child anxiety sensitivity (CASI) and parenting (APQ-C), and parents completed measures of their own anxiety sensitivity (ASI) and their parenting (APQ-P). Corporal punishment was associated with child anxiety sensitivity and the child's report of their parent's positive parenting behaviors moderated the association between parent and child anxiety sensitivity. The child's gender was also found to moderate the association between parent and child anxiety sensitivity, such that there was a positive association between girls' and their parents anxiety sensitivity and a negative association in boys. The findings advance the understanding of child anxiety sensitivity by establishing a link with corporal punishment and by showing that the association between parent and child anxiety sensitivity may depend upon the parenting context and child's gender.
    Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 10/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Depression frequently co-occurs with paediatric obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), yet the clinical correlates and impact of depression on CBT outcomes remain unclear. The prevalence and clinical correlates of depression were examined in a paediatric specialist OCD-clinic sample (N = 295; Mean = 15 [7 - 18] years, 42 % female), using both dimensional (Beck Depression Inventory-youth; n = 261) and diagnostic (Development and Wellbeing Assessment; n = 127) measures of depression. The impact of depressive symptoms and suspected disorders on post-treatment OCD severity was examined in a sub-sample who received CBT, with or without SSRI medication (N = 100). Fifty-one per-cent of patients reported moderately or extremely elevated depressive symptoms and 26 % (95 % CI: 18 - 34) met criteria for a suspected depressive disorder. Depressive symptoms and depressive disorders were associated with worse OCD symptom severity and global functioning prior to CBT. Individuals with depression were more likely to be female, have had a psychiatric inpatient admission and less likely to be attending school (ps < 0.01). OCD and depressive symptom severity significantly decreased after CBT. Depressive symptoms and depressive disorders predicted worse post-treatment OCD severity (βs = 0.19 and 0.26, ps < 0.05) but became non-significant when controlling for pre-treatment OCD severity (βs = 0.05 and 0.13, ns). Depression is common in paediatric OCD and is associated with more severe OCD and poorer functioning. However, depression severity decreases over the course of CBT for OCD and is not independently associated with worse outcomes, supporting the recommendation for treatment as usual in the presence of depressive symptoms.
    Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 10/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: The study examined growth in effortful control (executive control, delay ability) in relation to income, cumulative risk (aggregate of demographic and psychosocial risk factors), and adjustment in 306 preschool-age children (50 % girls, 50 % boys) from families representing a range of income (29 % at- or near-poverty; 28 % lower-income; 25 % middle-income; 18 % upper-income), with 4 assessments starting at 36-40 month. Income was directly related to levels of executive control and delay ability. Cumulative risk accounted for the effects of income on delay ability but not executive control. Higher initial executive control and slope of executive control and delay ability predicted academic readiness, whereas levels, but not growth, of executive control and delay ability predicted social competence and adjustment problems. Low income is a marker for lower effortful control, which demonstrates additive or mediating effects in the relation of income to children's preschool adjustment.
    Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 09/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: This prospective longitudinal study aimed to investigate the strength and relative importance of multiple predictors of depression in youth aged 16 to 20 years. Data were drawn from Statistics Canada's National Longitudinal Survey of Children and Youth (Statistics Canada 2007a, b). Hierarchical regressions were conducted separately by child gender (N = 796 boys; N = 919 girls) for two overlapping samples: mixed parent-child dyads (e.g., biological mothers, fathers and other caregivers; N = 1,715) and a subsample containing only biological mother-child dyads (N = 1,425). Parent-reported data were used from Cycle 1 when the children were aged 4 to 8 years. Parent and child-reported data were used from Cycle 4 when children were aged 10 to 14 years. The outcome measure of depressive symptoms was taken from Cycle 7 when the youth were aged 16 to 20 years. Adolescents reported more depression symptoms than young adults and girls reported more than boys. For boys, higher anxiety/depression scores at ages 4 to 8 years and 10 to 14 years, along with lower self-esteem at 10 to 14 years, predicted higher depression scores. Girls' depression was predicted by loss of a parent by ages 4 to 8 years and higher self-reported anxiety/depression and aggression at ages 10 to 14 years. Among biological mother-child dyads, maternal depression reported by mother when child was aged 4 to 8 years and 10 to 14 years significantly predicted depression for girls. At 10 to 14 years, child-reported lower parental monitoring (girls only) and greater parental rejection (boys and girls) predicted depression at ages 16 to 20 years.
    Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 09/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Despite promising theory, empirical study of the putative protective properties of self-compassion (SC) with respect to resilience to and recovery from traumatic stress is limited. The present study tested the theorized protective role(s) of SC with respect to trauma-related psychopathology over time among an at-risk sample of adolescents (N = 64, 26 % females, M(SD) age = 17.5(1.07) years-old, range age = 15-19; grades 9-12) directly exposed to a potentially traumatic stressful event - the Mount Carmel Forest Fire Disaster. The longitudinal design involved three assessment time-points - within 30-days of the potentially traumatic event (T1) and then at 3- (T2) and 6-months (T3) follow-up intervals. Consistent with prediction, multi-level modeling of mediation documented the prospective protective function(s) of SC, above and beyond dispositional mindfulness, with respect to posttraumatic stress and panic symptoms, depressive symptoms, and suicidality symptoms, but not well-being. The findings are discussed, theoretically, with respect to SC as a malleable protective factor for trauma-related psychopathology outcomes; and, clinically, with respect to SC as a target for future trauma-related selective-prevention and -early intervention research.
    Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 09/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Although average or high IQ was central to initial conceptualizations of psychopathy, IQ is typically negatively associated with oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) and conduct disorder (CD). Few studies have simultaneously considered narcissism and callous-unemotional (CU) traits with respect to ODD and CD symptoms, including potential interactive associations with IQ. Participants were 221 ethnically-diverse (45 % non-White) 6-9 year-old children with (n = 114) and without (n = 107) attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) with separate parent and teacher ratings of narcissism, CU traits, ODD, and CD. To minimize shared method variance, we conservatively examined the association of parent-rated psychopathic traits with teacher-rated ODD and CD as well as the association of teacher-rated psychopathic traits with parent-rated ODD and CD. Controlling for age, sex, and the number of child ADHD symptoms, narcissism, but not CU traits, uniquely and positively predicted parent- and teacher-rated ODD and CD symptoms. We also observed a significant IQ × narcissism interaction where narcissism was more strongly associated with ODD and CD among children with high IQ relative to average and low IQ youth. Whereas studies of youth psychopathic traits focus almost exclusively on CU traits, narcissism independently predicted separate parent and teacher ratings of ODD and CD, particularly among children with high IQ. These preliminary data persuasively suggest that early narcissism is a critical facet of psychopathy and in conjunction with IQ, may suggest a unique profile associated with emergent conduct problems.
    Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 09/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: In mainstream education, positive relationships with teachers and peers have been found to positively influence children's behavioral development. However, high levels of classroom behavior problems may hinder the formation of such positive relationships. Therefore, findings from mainstream education cannot be generalized to special education. The present study investigated the developmental links between disobedience and positive as well as negative relationships with teachers and peers among boys in restrictive special educational settings. At three assessment waves across one school year, teacher-reports of teacher-child closeness and conflict, and peer-reports of peer acceptance, rejection and disobedience were collected among 340 boys (mean age = 10.1 years, SD = 1.58, range = 5-13) with psychiatric disorders receiving special education. Autoregressive cross-lagged models were fitted to explore the nature of these developmental links. The impact of boys' age was examined using multiple group analyses. Findings supported the importance of teacher-child conflict, but not closeness, and positive and negative peer relationships for the development of boys' disobedience, with a stronger effect of negative than positive relationships. However, teacher-child and peer relationships were not longitudinally related and the effect of boys' age was minimal. This study extends prior research by suggesting that, despite differences in educational setting and severity of behavior problems between children in mainstream and special education, reducing negative classroom interactional patterns is most important in preventing the development of problematic classroom behavior in boys with severe social-emotional and behavioral difficulties.
    Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 09/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Although not limited to school contexts, bullying perpetration and victimization often emanates from social ecologies formed within the classroom. Thus, to fully illuminate risk for involvement in bullying, we must investigate contextual features of schools that heighten or minimize aggression among students and the targeting of children for peer victimization. To this end, the articles in this special section each contribute conceptually and empirically to the study of school-related factors in bullying and peer victimization. This introduction summarizes and highlights the major findings of each paper, organized around two major themes of the articles-the role of peer group ecologies and the role of the classroom teacher. We conclude our synopsis by discussing implications for intervention and the need for anti-bullying efforts that systemically address the peer group and teacher influences identified in these investigations.
    Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 09/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Although the dexamethasone suppression test (DST) has limited use as a biomarker of depression given inadequate sensitivity and specificity, it marks prospective risk for suicide among adults. However, few studies have examined associations between the DST, suicidal ideation, and self-inflicted injury (SII) among adolescents, even though SII is the single best predictor of eventual suicide. We evaluated the DST as a correlate of suicidal ideation and retrospective reports of self-inflicted injury (SII) among adolescent girls, ages 13-17, with histories of depression (n = 28) or depression and self-harm (n = 29). Lower post-DST cortisol was associated with suicidal ideation and SII, over-and-above parent-reports and combined parent-/self-reports of internalizing and externalizing behavior. These findings are consistent with recent acquired capacity models of stress-related psychopathology in which hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal (HPA) axis function is altered through epigenetic/allostatic mechanisms among vulnerable individuals who incur adversity early in life.
    Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 09/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: To investigate the differential emergence of antisocial behaviors and mood dysregulation among children with externalizing problems, the present study prospectively followed 317 high-risk children with early externalizing problems from school entry (ages 5-7) to late adolescence (ages 17-19). Latent class analysis conducted on their conduct and mood symptoms in late adolescence revealed three distinct patterns of symptoms, characterized by: 1) criminal offenses, conduct disorder symptoms, and elevated anger ("conduct problems"), 2) elevated anger, dysphoric mood, and suicidal ideation ("mood dysregulation"), and 3) low levels of severe conduct and mood symptoms. A diathesis-stress model predicting the first two outcomes was tested. Elevated overt aggression at school entry uniquely predicted conduct problems in late adolescence, whereas elevated emotion dysregulation at school entry uniquely predicted mood dysregulation in late adolescence. Experiences of low parental warmth and peer rejection in middle childhood moderated the link between early emotion dysregulation and later mood dysregulation but did not moderate the link between early overt aggression and later conduct problems. Thus, among children with early externalizing behavior problems, increased risk for later antisocial behavior or mood dysfunction may be identifiable in early childhood based on levels of overt aggression and emotion dysregulation. For children with early emotion dysregulation, however, increased risk for mood dysregulation characterized by anger, dysphoric mood, and suicidality - possibly indicative of disruptive mood dysregulation disorder - emerges only in the presence of low parental warmth and/or peer rejection during middle childhood.
    Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 09/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Placement on a wait-list may increase families' help-seeking efforts, leading them to contact more than one children's mental health (MH) agency/professional. Two issues were examined in the current study: 1) Does time on a wait-list for families impact the time to contact a new agency for children's MH services? 2) What are the effects of predisposing (e.g., child age), need (e.g., child psychopathology), and enabling/system-level factors (e.g., parent treatment history) on the length of time parents wait before they contact a new agency for help with their child's MH problems? A total of 273 families seeking help for their child (64 % boys, M = 10.7 years old, SD = 3.3) were asked about their contact with MH agencies/professionals during the previous year. Survival analyses, modeling time from initial wait-list placement to when a new agency was contacted, were conducted separately for families who did (n = 114), and those who did not (n = 159), receive help prior to contacting a new agency. Almost half of wait-listed families contacted a new agency by the end of the study period. Longer wait-time was associated with a greater likelihood of seeking help at a second agency with 25 % of families contacting a new agency within the first month of being wait-listed. Parents with previous treatment experience and families living in areas with more agencies contacted a new agency sooner. Subsequent help-seeking behaviour suggests parents' intolerance for lengthy treatment delays may result in disorganized pathways to care. These findings suggest a highly fragmented service delivery system.
    Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 09/2014;
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    ABSTRACT: Predictors of depressive symptoms may differ before and after the first onset of major depression due to stress sensitization. Dependent stressors, or those to which characteristics of individuals contribute, have been shown to predict depressive symptoms in youth. The current study sought to clarify how stressors' roles may differ before and after the first depressive episode. Adolescents (N = 382, aged 11 to 15 at baseline) were assessed at baseline and every 3 months over the course of 2 years with measures of stressors and depressive symptoms. Semi-structured interviews were conducted every 6 months to assess for clinically significant depressive episodes. Hierarchical linear modeling showed a significant interaction between history of depression and idiographic fluctuations in dependent stressors to predict prospective elevations of symptoms, such that dependent stressors were more predictive of depressive symptoms after onset of disorder. Independent stressors predicted symptoms, but the strength of the association did not vary by depression history. These results suggest a synthesis of dependent stress and stress sensitization processes that might maintain inter-episode depressive symptoms among youth with a history of clinical depression.
    Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 08/2014;