[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The current study was a 7-year follow-up of 74 6-12 year old children with Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified. We examined the rates and 7 year stability of comorbid psychiatric diagnoses as ascertained with the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children: Parent version at ages 6-12 and again at ages 12-20. Also, we examined childhood factors that predicted the stability of comorbid psychiatric disorders. The rate of comorbid psychiatric disorders dropped significantly from childhood (81 %) to adolescence (61 %). Higher levels of parent reported stereotyped behaviors and reduced social interest in childhood significantly predicted the stability of psychiatric comorbidity. Re-evaluation of psychiatric comorbidity should be considered in clinical practice, since several individuals shifted in comorbid diagnoses.
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 10/2015; DOI:10.1007/s10803-015-2592-5 · 3.06 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aggression (e.g., assaulting others, bullying, oppositionality; AGG) and non-aggressive rule-breaking (e.g., lying, stealing, vandalism; RB) appear to constitute meaningfully distinct dimensions of antisocial behavior. Despite these differences, it is equally clear that AGG and RB are moderately-to-strongly intercorrelated with one another. To date, however, we have little insight into the sampling and methodologic characteristics that might moderate the association between AGG and RB. The current study sought to evaluate several such moderators (i.e., age, sex, informant, and society) in a sample of 27,861 parent–adolescent dyads from 25 societies. AGG and RB were assessed with the well-known Child Behavior Checklist and Youth Self-Report (Achenbach & Rescorla, 2001). Results revealed small effects of informant and adolescent sex, such that the association between AGG and RB was stronger for parents’ reports than for adolescents’ self-reports, and for boys than for girls. The association also varied by society. Unexpectedly, the specific operationalization of ‘aggression’ emerged as a particularly strong moderator, such that the association was stronger for a general measure of AGG than for a more focused measure of physical aggression per se. Such findings inform our understanding of similarities and differences between aggressive and non-aggressive antisocial problems.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The current 7-year follow-up study investigated: (1) the stability of ASD severity, and (2) associations of ASD severity in adolescence with (a) childhood and concurrent psychiatric comorbidity, and (b) concurrent societal functioning. The Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS) and the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children were administered in childhood (ages 6-12) and in adolescence (ages 12-20) to 72 individuals with a pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS). ADOS calibrated severity scores showed a large stability (r = .51). Psychiatric comorbidity in childhood and adolescence were not associated with ASD severity in adolescence. Mental health care use (87 %) and special education needs were high (71 %). Reevaluation of ASD severity and psychiatric comorbidity later in life seem useful when PDD-NOS is diagnosed in childhood.
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 09/2015; DOI:10.1007/s10803-015-2595-2 · 3.06 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Teaching children with psychiatric disorders can be a challenging task. The purpose of this study was to examine the impact of the Good Behavior Game (GBG) in children with psychiatric disorders, and their teachers, in special education. Teachers were trained by licensed school consultants to implement positive behavior support strategies to elicit desired behavior in students. A total of 389 children and their 58 teachers at 11 schools for special primary education were included in the study. Using a cluster randomized controlled design, special education schools were assigned to an intervention condition or an education as usual condition. An increase in emotional and behavioral problems was found in the control group, whereas no change was seen in the intervention group, indicating a modest intervention effect. No effects were found on children’s relationships with teachers or peers. The GBG affected teachers’ sense of self-efficacy in engaging students in schoolwork, but no effects were found on teachers’ self-efficacy in classroom management or on teachers’ burnout symptoms. Thus, although children with psychiatric disorders and their teachers in special education can benefit from the GBG, given the partial effects and modest effect sizes, a longer duration program complemented with additional elements is recommended.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: High and stable levels of aggression and the presence of aggressive behaviour in multiple settings according to different informants are risk factors for later problems. However, these two factors have not been investigated in early childhood. The present study investigates trajectories of parent-reported child aggression from 1.5 up to 6 years of age and their association with aggressive behaviour, attention problems and rule-breaking behaviour in a different setting, as reported by the teacher. In a longitudinal population-based cohort study, parent-reported measures of aggressive behaviour were obtained using the CBCL when children were 1.5, 3, and 6 years of age (n = 4,781). Teacher-reported problem behaviour at school was assessed at age 6.5, using the TRF questionnaire (n = 2,756). Growth mixture modelling yielded three aggression trajectories, with high increasing (3.0%), intermediate (21.3%), and low decreasing (75.7%) aggression levels. Children in trajectories with higher and increasing levels of aggression showed more teacher-reported aggressive behaviour, attention problems and rule breaking behaviour. However, parent-reported aggression at age six predicted problem behaviour at school to the same extent as did the aggression trajectories, suggesting that the incremental value of trajectories is not always self-evident.
International Journal of Behavioral Development 04/2015; 39(3). DOI:10.1177/0165025414562239 · 1.58 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study examined the stability of internalizing and externalizing problems from age 1.5 to 6 years, while taking into account developmental changes in the presentation of problems. The study comprised a population-based cohort of 7,206 children (50.4 % boys). At ages 1.5, 3, and 6 years, mothers reported on problem behavior using the Child Behavior Checklist/1.5-5 (CBCL/1.5-5). At each age we performed latent profile analysis on the CBCL/1.5-5 scales. Latent transition analysis (LTA) was applied to study the stability of problem behavior. Profiles of problem behavior varied across ages. At each age, 82-87 % of the children did not have problems whereas approximately 2 % showed a profile of co-occurring internalizing and externalizing problems. This profile was more severe (with higher scores) at 6 years than at earlier ages. A predominantly internalizing profile only emerged at 6 years, while a profile with externalizing problems and emotional reactivity was present at each age. LTA showed that, based on profiles at 1.5 and 3 years, it was difficult to predict the type of profile at 6 years. Children with a profile of co-occurring internalizing and externalizing problems early in life were most likely to show problem behavior at 6 years. This study shows that the presentation of problem behavior changes across the preschool period and that heterotypic continuity of problems is very common among preschoolers. Children with co-occurring internalizing and externalizing problems were most likely to show persisting problems. The use of evidence-based treatment for these young children may prevent psychiatric problems across the life course.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study determined the impact of impairment criteria on the prevalence and patterns of comorbidity of child DSM-IV disorders. The validity of these impairment criteria was tested against different measures of mental health care referral and utilization. We interviewed parents of 1,154 children aged 5-8 years in-depth using the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, to establish DSM-IV diagnosis. These children were randomly selected or oversampled based on Child Behavior Checklist ratings from a large population-based study (N = 6,172). Referral data were extracted from the psychiatric interview as well as from a follow-up questionnaire. The results showed an overall prevalence of DSM-IV disorders of 31.1 % when impairment was not considered. This rate declined to 22.9 % when mild impairment was required and declined even further, to 10.3 %, for more severe levels of impairment. Similarly, the overall comorbidity rate declined from 8.5 to 6.7 and 2.7 % when mild and severe impairment were required, respectively. Virtually all children who attained symptom thresholds for a specific disorder, and had been referred to a mental health care professional because of the associated symptoms, also had mild impairment. The requirement of severe impairment criteria significantly increased diagnostic thresholds, but for most disorders, this definition captured only half of the clinically referred cases. In conclusion, prevalence was highly dependent upon the criteria used to define impairment. If severe impairment is made a diagnostic requirement, many children with psychiatric symptoms and mild impairment seeking mental health care will be undiagnosed and possibly untreated.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The goal of this study was to explore relations between teacher characteristics (i.e., competence and wellbeing); social classroom relationships (i.e., teacher–child and peer interactions); and children's social, emotional, and behavioral classroom adjustment. These relations were explored at both the individual and classroom levels among 414 children with emotional and behavioral disorders placed in special education. Two models were specified. In the first model, children's classroom adjustment was regressed on social relationships and teacher characteristics. In the second model, reversed links were examined by regressing teacher characteristics on social relationships and children's adjustment. Results of model 1 showed that, at the individual level, better social and emotional adjustment of children was predicted by higher levels of teacher–child closeness and better behavioral adjustment was predicted by both positive teacher–child and peer interactions. At the classroom level, positive social relationships were predicted by higher levels of teacher competence, which in turn were associated with lower classroom levels of social problems. Higher levels of teacher wellbeing were directly associated with classroom adaptive and maladaptive child outcomes. Results of model 2 showed that, at the individual and classroom levels, only the emotional and behavioral problems of children predicted social classroom relationships. At the classroom level, teacher competence was best predicted by positive teacher–child relationships and teacher wellbeing was best predicted by classroom levels of prosocial behavior. We discuss the importance of positive teacher–child and peer interactions for children placed in special education and suggest ways of improving classroom processes by targeting teacher competence.
Journal of School Psychology 02/2015; 53(1):87-103. DOI:10.1016/j.jsp.2014.11.005 · 2.26 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: This study examined multiple determinants of discrepancies between mother and child reports of problem behavior. In 5,414 6-year-olds, child problem behavior was assessed by self-report using the Berkeley Puppet Interview and by maternal report using the Child Behavior Checklist. Patterns in mother-child reports were modeled using latent profile analysis. Four profiles, differing in problem level, and the direction and magnitude of mother-child discrepancies, were identified: one profile representing agreement (46 %), another representing slight discrepancies (30 %), and two representing higher problem levels and more discrepancies. In the latter two profiles either children (11 %) or mothers (13 %) reported more problems. Compared to the first profile, the second was predominantly characterized by a positive family environment, the third by child cognitive difficulties, and the fourth by harsh discipline and poor family functioning. Knowledge about specific child/family characteristics that contribute to mother-child discrepancies can help to interpret informants' reports and to make diagnostic decisions.
Child Psychiatry and Human Development 01/2015; 46(6). DOI:10.1007/s10578-014-0531-x · 1.93 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
It is of debate whether or not childhood anxiety disorders (AD) can be captured by one taxonomic construct. This study examined whether perceived arousal (PA), autonomic nervous system (ANS) and hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis measures can distinguish children with different primary diagnoses of clinical anxiety disorders (AD) from each other, and from a general population reference group (GP).
The study sample consisted of 152 AD children (comparing separation anxiety disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, social phobia and specific phobia), aged 8- to 12-years, and 200 same-aged reference children. HPA-axis functioning was measured by a diurnal cortisol profile. ANS functioning was measured by continuous measures of skin conductance level in rest and during a mental arithmetic task and high frequency heart rate variability in rest. PA was assessed by a questionnaire.
The AD sample showed lower high frequency heart rate variability during rest, heightened anticipatory PA, higher basal and reactive skin conductance levels and lower basal HPA-axis functioning compared to the GP sample. The existence of three or more clinical disorders, i.e. a high clinical 'load', was associated with lower basal HPA-axis functioning, higher skin conductance level and lower posttest PA. Specific phobia could be discerned from social phobia and separation anxiety disorder on higher skin conductance level.
Our findings indicated that children with AD have specific psychophysiological characteristics, which resemble the psychophysiological characteristics of chronic stress. A high clinical 'load' is associated with an altered ANS and HPA-axis functioning. Overall, ANS and HPA-axis functioning relate to AD in general, accept for specific phobia.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Objective:
The aim of this study is to investigate emotional and behavioral problems among Indonesian patients with disorders of sex development (DSD) who recently came under clinical management. As diagnostic procedures and treatment had been delayed, patients progressively developed ambiguous bodies, difficult to conceal from outsiders.
We compared 118 Indonesian patients with DSD aged 6-41 years (60 children, 24 adolescents, 34 adults) and 118 healthy control subjects matched for age, gender, and residential settings. We used the Child Behavioral Checklist (CBCL), Youth Self-Report (YSR), and Adult Self-Report (ASR) to examine differences between patient and control groups as well as differences within patients groups.
On the CBCL, parents of young children with DSD reported significantly more emotional and behavioral problems than parents of matched control. Parents of daughters with CAH reported that their daughters withdrew themselves from social interactions. On the ASR, adults with DSD reported significantly more internalizing problems than controls, particularly anxiety and depression. No other differences in emotional functioning were found across different diagnostic groups.
Indonesian patients with DSD who were untreated for most of their lives suffered more emotional and behavioral problems than matched controls. Differences and similarities between our findings and observations in patients from Western countries will be discussed.
Journal of Psychosomatic Research 12/2014; 79(1). DOI:10.1016/j.jpsychores.2014.12.007 · 2.74 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The screening accuracy of the parent and teacher-reported Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS) was compared with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) classification according to (1) the Developmental, Dimensional, and Diagnostic Interview (3Di), (2) the Autism Diagnostic Observation Schedule (ADOS), (3) both the 3Di and ADOS, in 186 children referred to six mental health centers. The parent report showed excellent correspondence to an ASD classification according to the 3Di and both the 3Di and ADOS. The teacher report added significantly to the screening accuracy over and above the parent report when compared with the ADOS classification. Findings support the screening utility of the parent-reported SRS among clinically referred children and indicate that different informants may provide unique information relevant for ASD assessment.
Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 11/2014; 45(6). DOI:10.1007/s10803-014-2323-3 · 3.34 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background:
Cross-national differences could affect the likelihood of endorsement of DSM cannabis abuse and dependence criteria. The present study examines whether cannabis abuse and dependence criteria function differently across U.S. and Dutch cannabis users.
Data on lifetime endorsement of DSM-IV cannabis abuse/dependence criteria were utilized from U.S. cannabis users who participated in the National Epidemiological Survey on Alcohol and Related Conditions (NESARC) and from Dutch cannabis users who participated in the Zuid-Holland study. In total, 1,568 cannabis users participated in the NESARC sample, and 359 cannabis users participated in the Zuid-Holland sample. The DSM-IV cannabis abuse/dependence criteria as well as cannabis withdrawal were determined using face-to-face computer-assisted personal interviews.
Using Restricted Factor Analysis with Latent Moderated Structures, the cannabis abuse/dependence criteria legal problems (β = -0.43), failed quit attempts (β = -1.09), use despite problems (β = -0.32), and withdrawal (β = -0.53) showed measurement bias, and were more likely to be endorsed by U.S. than by Dutch cannabis users. Also, men were more likely than women to endorse the criteria hazardous use (β = -0.27), legal problems (β = -0.49) and tolerance (β = -0.20). Findings on failed quit attempts and withdrawal were replicated in matched subsamples, while results on legal problems (country and gender) were partly replicated.
Several CUD criteria showed measurement bias across two countries and between males and females. Therefore, differences between countries and gender in prevalence rates of CUD should be regarded with caution.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Parental feeding practices are associated with children's body mass index (BMI). It has been generally assumed that parental feeding determines children's eating behaviors and weight gain, but feeding practices could equally be a parent's response to child weight.
American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 11/2014; 100(5):1329-36. DOI:10.3945/ajcn.114.088922 · 6.77 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] 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.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Parental harsh disciplining, like corporal punishment, has consistently been associated with adverse mental health outcomes in children. It remains a challenge to accurately assess the consequences of harsh discipline, as researchers and clinicians generally rely on parent report of young children's problem behaviors. If parents rate their parenting styles and their child's behavior this may bias results. The use of child self-report on problem behaviors is not common but may provide extra information about the relation of harsh parental discipline and problem behavior. We examined the independent contribution of young children's self-report above parental report of emotional and behavioral problems in a study of maternal and paternal harsh discipline in a birth cohort. Maternal and paternal harsh discipline predicted both parent reported behavioral and parent reported emotional problems, but only child reported behavioral problems. Associations were not explained by pre-existing behavioral problems at age 3. Importantly, the association with child reported outcomes was independent from parent reported problem behavior. These results suggest that young children's self-reports of behavioral problems provide unique information on the effects of harsh parental discipline. Inclusion of child self-reports can therefore help estimate the effects of harsh parental discipline more accurately.
PLoS ONE 08/2014; 9(8):e104793. DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0104793 · 3.23 Impact Factor
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: To evaluate the moderating influence of parental variables on changes in health-related quality of life (HRQoL) in adolescents with Tetralogy of Fallot (ToF) or a Fontan circulation after participation in standardized exercise training. A multicenter randomized controlled trail in which 56 patients, aged 10-15, were randomly allocated (stratified by age, gender, and congenital heart disease) to a 12-week period with either: (a) 3 times per week standardized exercise training or (b) care-as-usual (randomization ratio 2:1). Adolescents and their parents filled in online questionnaires at baseline and at 12-week follow-up. In this randomized controlled trail, primary analyses involved influence of parental mental health and parental social support for exercise on changes in the TNO/AZL Child Quality of Life Questionnaire Child Form at follow-up. Secondary analyses concerned comparing levels of parental characteristics with normative data. Compared with controls, adolescents in the exercise group reported a decrease in social functioning when their parents had more anxiety/insomnia or severe depression themselves. Adolescents also reported a decrease in social functioning when their parents showed poorer overall mental health themselves. Parents reported comparable or even better mental health compared with normative data. The effect of a standardized exercise program on HRQoL changes in adolescents with ToF or a Fontan circulation is moderated by parental mental health, more specifically by parental anxiety/insomnia and severe depression. The trial registration number of this article is NTR2731 ( www.trialregister.nl ).
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Formal thought disorder (FTD) is a disruption in the flow of thought, which is inferred from disorganisation of spoken language. FTD in autism spectrum disorders (ASD) might be a precursor of psychotic disorders or a manifestation of ASD symptom severity. The current longitudinal study is a seven-year follow-up of 91 individuals aged 5-12 years with ASD. We tested (1) whether childhood FTD predicted prodromal symptoms of psychosis in adolescence and (2) whether childhood FTD was associated with greater ASD symptom severity in adolescence. ASD symptom severity was assessed in childhood (T1) and 7 years later (T2), using the autism diagnostic observation schedule (ADOS). At T1, the Kiddie-Formal Thought Disorder Rating Scale (KFTDS) was used to measure symptoms of FTD. At T2, the prodromal questionnaire (PQ) was used to assess prodromal symptoms of psychosis. FTD at T1 did not predict prodromal symptoms of psychosis at T2 in children with ASD. FTD symptoms at T1, namely illogical thinking, predicted ASD symptom severity at T2 and this effect remained significant after controlling for T1 ASD symptom severity. In children with ASD, illogical thinking predicts severity of ASD symptoms in adolescence, but FTD does not predict prodromal symptoms of psychosis.