[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: School-aged children with an ethnic minority background are relatively often involved in bullying and victimization, but the role of ethnic composition of schools in this context remains unclear. This study examined the relation between ethnic minority background, ethnic school composition, and bullying behaviour around primary school entry in the Netherlands. The study was based on a 2008/2009 school survey in Rotterdam, a Dutch city where about 50 % of children have a non-Dutch background. For 8523 children, teacher reports of bullying behaviour at age 5–6 years were available. Children with a non-Dutch background had higher odds of being a victim (adjusted OR 1.41, 95 % CI 1.11, 1.80), bully (OR 1.38, 95 % CI 1.20, 1.58) or bully-victim (OR 1.38, 95 % CI 1.19, 1.62) than children of Dutch national origin. Ethnic diversity in schools increased children’s risk of bullying behaviour (e.g. ORvictim per 0.1 increase in 0–1 diversity range = 1.06, 95 % CI 1.00, 1.13), with children of both Dutch and non-Dutch national origin relatively more often involved in bullying in ethnically diverse schools. The proportion of same-ethnic peers in school reduced the risk of bullying among children of Dutch national origin (e.g. ORvictim per 10 % more same-ethnic children = 0.90, 95 % CI 0.83, 0.98), but not among non-Dutch children. In conclusion, ethnic minority background and ethnic diversity within schools are risk factors for bullying among 5–6 year olds. Plausibly, reductions in absolute numbers of bullying events may be obtained with tailor-made interventions in ethnically diverse schools. Such interventions should preferably be offered early in the school curriculum.
Full-text available · Article · Oct 2016 · Race and Social Problems
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: This paper provides an overview of the design and cohort characteristics of the Social Spectrum Study: a clinical cohort study that used a two-phase sampling design to identify children at risk for ASD. After screening 1281 children aged 2.5–10 years who had been consecutively referred to one of six mental health services in the Netherlands, children who screened positive for ASD (n = 428) and a random selection of screen negatives (n = 240) were invited to participate in diagnostic assessments and questionnaires regarding the child, family and society. A 1-year follow-up was also conducted. Results from this study may contribute to knowledge of the identification and characterization of children with ASD, family processes, and the impact of ASD on the family and society.
Full-text available · Article · Oct 2016 · Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Psychiatric symptoms in childhood are closely related to neurocognitive deficits. However, it is unclear whether internalising and externalising symptoms are associated with general or distinct cognitive problems. We examined the relation between different types of psychiatric symptoms and neurocognitive functioning in a population-based sample of 1177 school-aged children. Internalising and externalising behaviour was studied both continuously and categorically. For continuous, variable-centred analyses, broadband scores of internalising and externalising symptoms were used. However, these measures are strongly correlated, which may prevent identification of distinct cognitive patterns. To distinguish groups of children with relatively homogeneous symptom patterns, a latent profile analysis of symptoms at age 6 yielded four exclusive groups of children: a class of children with predominantly internalising symptoms, a class with externalising symptoms, a class with co-occurring internalising and externalising symptoms, that resembles the CBCL dysregulation profile and a class with no problems. Five domains of neurocognitive ability were tested: attention/executive functioning, language, memory and learning, sensorimotor functioning, and visuospatial processing. Consistently, these two different modelling approaches demonstrated that children with internalising and externalising symptoms show distinct cognitive profiles. Children with more externalising symptoms performed lower in the attention/executive functioning domain, while children with more internalising symptoms showed impairment in verbal fluency and memory. In the most severely affected class of children with internalising and externalising symptoms, we found specific impairment in the sensorimotor domain. This study illustrates the specific interrelation of internalising and externalising symptoms and cognition in young children.
Full-text available · Article · Sep 2016 · European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Internalizing and externalizing problems are associated with poor academic performance, both concurrently and longitudinally. Important questions are whether problems precede academic performance or vice versa, whether both internalizing and externalizing are associated with academic problems when simultaneously tested, and whether associations and their direction depend on the informant providing information. These questions were addressed in a sample of 816 children who were assessed four times. The children were 6–10 years at baseline and 14–18 years at the last assessment. Parent-reported internalizing and externalizing problems and teacher-reported academic performance were tested in cross-lagged models to examine bidirectional paths between these constructs. These models were compared with cross-lagged models testing paths between teacher-reported internalizing and externalizing problems and parent-reported academic performance. Both final models revealed similar pathways from mostly externalizing problems to academic performance. No paths emerged from internalizing problems to academic performance. Moreover, paths from academic performance to internalizing and externalizing problems were only found when teachers reported on children's problems and not for parent-reported problems. Additional model tests revealed that paths were observed in both childhood and adolescence. Externalizing problems place children at increased risk of poor academic performance and should therefore be the target for interventions.
Article · Aug 2016 · Development and Psychopathology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: We examined the mental health problems of Dutch young adult domestic adoptees (N = 75) relative to Dutch non-adopted peers and Dutch international adoptees. We found small differences in favor of the non-adopted peers (N = 2021), while a minority of male domestic adoptees were at risk of anxiety/depression problems. Domestic adoptees showed somewhat less problems behavior than international adoptees (N = 1331). Domestic and international adoptees differed in search status (non-searcher, searcher, reunited), although this could not explain any differences in mental health problems. Social workers and clinicians should support (male) adult adoptees in coping with possible feelings of anxiety and depression. Future studies should pay attention to gender differences in adoptees.
Full-text available · Article · Jul 2016 · International Social Work
[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.
Article · Jul 2016 · Journal of Positive Behavior Interventions
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Although early childhood is a period of rapid neurocognitive development, few studies have assessed neuropsychological functioning in various cognitive domains in young typically developing children. Also, results regarding its association with gender and intelligence are mixed. In 853 typically developing children aged 6 to 10 years old, the association of gender, age, and intelligence with neuropsychological functioning in the domains of attention, executive functioning, language, memory, sensorimotor functioning, and visuospatial processing was explored. Clear positive associations with age were observed. In addition, gender differences were found and showed that girls generally outperformed boys, with the exception of visuospatial tasks. Furthermore, IQ was positively associated with neuropsychological functioning, which was strongest in visuospatial tasks. Performance in different neuropsychological domains was associated with age, gender, and intelligence in young typically developing children, and these factors should be taken into account when assessing neuropsychological functioning in clinical or research settings.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: The Developmental Diagnostic Dimensional Interview-short version (3Di-sv) provides a brief standardized parental interview for diagnosing autism spectrum disorder (ASD). This study explored its validity, and compatibility with DSM-5 ASD. 3Di-sv classifications showed good sensitivity but low specificity when compared to ADOS-2-confirmed clinical diagnosis. Confirmatory factor analyses found a better fit against a DSM-5 model than a DSM-IV-TR model of ASD. Exploration of the content validity of the 3Di-sv for the DSM-5 revealed some construct underrepresentation, therefore we obtained data from a panel of 3Di-trained clinicians from ASD-specialized centers to recommend items to fill these gaps. Taken together, the 3Di-sv provides a solid basis to create a similar instrument suitable for DSM-5. Concrete recommendations are provided to improve DSM-5 compatibility.
Full-text available · Article · Jan 2016 · Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
[Show abstract][Hide abstract]ABSTRACT: Background:
In order to shed more light on the frequent co-occurrence of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and anxiety in children, the aims of the study were (a) to examine whether ASD and anxiety share familial transmission indicated by cross-symptom associations between parental and children's symptoms (e.g., parental anxiety predicting children's ASD) in addition to associations for similar symptoms; (b) to investigate the possibility that cross-assortative mating (i.e., whether ASD symptoms in one parent are positively associated with anxiety symptoms in the other parent) increases the risk for both ASD and anxiety in children.
In 231 families of clinically referred children, parents rated both their own and the other parent's ASD and anxiety symptoms and one parent those of the index child and siblings (n = 447, aged 2.5-18 years). ASD symptoms were assessed using the Social Responsiveness Scale (SRS-2) and anxiety symptoms using the Achenbach System of Empirically Based Assessment (ASEBA) instruments.
Parental ASD and anxiety symptoms predicted similar symptoms in children, dependent on the informant type. Additionally, parental anxiety symptoms across both self-report and informant-report predicted children's ASD symptoms and maternal self-reported ASD symptoms predicted children's anxiety symptoms. ASD and anxiety symptoms were correlated within parents, but we found only one cross-symptom association between parents.
Cross-symptom associations between parental and children's ASD and anxiety symptoms suggest shared familial transmission of ASD and anxiety, but further research is needed to clarify the underlying mechanisms. Cross-assortative mating does not seem a likely explanation for the co-occurrence of ASD and anxiety in children.
Article · Dec 2015 · Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry
[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.
Full-text available · Article · Oct 2015 · Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
[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.
Full-text available · Article · Oct 2015 · Personality and Individual Differences
[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.
Full-text available · Article · Sep 2015 · Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders