Early Onset Risk and Resilience Factors Associated With Conduct Problems in Young Children With and Without Comorbid Emotional Difficulties
AuthorMahoney, Emery Brianne
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractConduct problems are among the most prevalent psychiatric conditions identified in outpatient mental health centers (Frick 1998b; Kazdin, 1995; Loeber, Burke, Lahey, Waters, & Zera, 2000). Despite a long history of examining risk factors associated with conduct problems, many studies have focused exclusively on adolescent onset conduct problems and few studies have sought to examine relationships among risk factors across several domains. Furthermore, few studies have been conducted to examine protective factors thought to mitigate the risk for children who are thought to be at a high risk of manifesting conduct problems. By gaining an understanding of risk and protective factors associated with early onset conduct problems, clinicians can develop and appropriately target interventions to those children at a high risk of developing conduct problems as well as those who are already displaying symptoms associated with early onset conduct problems. The purpose of the present study was to identify factors associated with an increased risk of early onset conduct problems across several domains and to develop a statistical model describing the relationships among these latter domains and risk factors. Furthermore, the present research used these identified risk factors in order to study factors that may offer protective benefits to children who are at a high risk of developing conduct problems at a younger age. The data used in the present study were from the National Survey of Children's Health database which contained data collected in 2007. These data were analyzed using a confirmatory factor analysis approach and multi-group structural equation modeling techniques. The results showed that living in a poorer quality neighborhood, coming from a lower socioeconomic status, and having a mother who reported overall fair or poorer mental health were all risk factors associated with reported early onset conduct problems. Protective factors identified included having a higher quality parent-child relationship and not having a history of involvement in special education. The implications of these findings are discussed as are future directions for research.
Degree ProgramGraduate College