In some studies, shyness and anxiety have protected at-risk boys from developing delinquency. In others, shyness and withdrawal have increased risk. We argue that this is because behavioral inhibition, which is the protective factor, has been confounded with social withdrawal and other constructs. Our study addresses 3 major questions: (1) is behavioral inhibition, as distinguished from social withdrawal, a protective factor in the development of delinquency; (2) does the protective effect depend on whether disruptiveness is also present; and (3) does inhibition increase the risk of later depressive symptoms even if it protects against delinquency?
The subjects were boys from low socioeconomic status areas of Montreal, Quebec. Age 10- to 12-year predictors were peer-rated inhibition, withdrawal, and disruptiveness; age 13- to 15-year outcomes were self-rated depressive symptoms and delinquency. Eight age 10- to 12-year behavioral profiles were compared with 4 age 13- to 15-year outcome profiles.
Inhibition seemed to protect disruptive and nondisruptive boys against delinquency. Disruptive boys who were noninhibited were more likely than chance to become delinquent; disruptive boys who were inhibited were not. Inhibition did not increase the risk for depression among disruptive boys. Among nondisruptive boys, only nondisruptive-inhibited boys were significantly less likely than chance to become delinquent. However, withdrawal was not protective. Disruptive-withdrawn boys were at the greatest risk for delinquency or delinquency with depressive symptoms.
Inhibition and social withdrawal, although behaviorally similar, present different risks for later outcomes and, therefore, should be differentiated conceptually and empirically.
Comment In: Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1997 Sep;54(9):785-99294368
This study examines the prevalence and developmental changes of parasomnias and assesses gender differences, relationships between parasomnias, and associations with anxiety and family adversity using data collected during the course of a longitudinal study of a representative sample of children from Québec.
The present analyses are based on results available for 664 boys and 689 girls for whom mothers have completed questions concerning demographics, parasomnias, and anxiety level. For the prevalence and developmental aspects of parasomnias, prospective data were collected at annual intervals from 11 to 13 years old and retrospective data for the period between ages 3 and 10 years were collected when the children were 10 years old.
Somniloquy, leg restlessness, and sleep bruxism are the most frequent parasomnias. More girls were afflicted with leg restlessness, while enuresis and somniloquy were more common in boys. High anxiety scores were found in children suffering from night terrors, somniloquy, leg restlessness, sleep bruxism, and body rocking. Parasomnias were unrelated to the index of family adversity.
Although sleepwalking, night terrors, enuresis, and body rocking dramatically decreased during childhood, somniloquy, leg restlessness, and sleep bruxism were still highly prevalent at age 13 years, paralleling results found in adults. Sleepwalking, night terrors, and somniloquy are conditions often found together. The only robust gender difference was for enuresis. High anxiety scores in parasomnias are reported for the first time in a large, controlled study. Sociodemographic variables do not seem to play a major role in the occurrence of parasomnias.
To investigate similarities and differences in the serotonergic diathesis for mood disorders and suicide attempts, we conducted a study in a cohort followed longitudinally for 22 years. A total of 1255 members of this cohort, which is representative of the French-speaking population of Quebec, were investigated. Main outcome measures included (1) mood disorders (bipolar disorder and major depression) and suicide attempts by early adulthood; (2) odds ratios and probabilities associated with 143 single nucleotide polymorphisms in 11 serotonergic genes, acting directly or as moderators in gene-environment interactions with childhood sexual or childhood physical abuse (CPA), and in gene-gene interactions; (3) regression coefficients for putative endophenotypes for mood disorders (childhood anxiousness) and suicide attempts (childhood disruptiveness). Five genes showed significant adjusted effects (HTR2A, TPH1, HTR5A, SLC6A4 and HTR1A). Of these, HTR2A variation influenced both suicide attempts and mood disorders, although through different mechanisms. In suicide attempts, HTR2A variants (rs6561333, rs7997012 and rs1885884) were involved through interactions with histories of sexual and physical abuse whereas in mood disorders through one main effect (rs9316235). In terms of phenotype-specific contributions, TPH1 variation (rs10488683) was relevant only in the diathesis for suicide attempts. Three genes contributed exclusively to mood disorders, one through a main effect (HTR5A (rs1657268)) and two through gene-environment interactions with CPA (HTR1A (rs878567) and SLC6A4 (rs3794808)). Childhood anxiousness did not mediate the effects of HTR2A and HTR5A on mood disorders, nor did childhood disruptiveness mediate the effects of TPH1 on suicide attempts. Of the serotonergic genes implicated in mood disorders and suicidal behaviors, four exhibited phenotype-specific effects, suggesting that despite their high concordance and common genetic determinants, suicide attempts and mood disorders may also have partially independent etiological pathways. To identify where these pathways diverge, we need to understand the differential, phenotype-specific gene-environment interactions such as the ones observed in the present study, using suitably powered samples.
We tested three competing models regarding the role of deviant friends in the trajectory linking early disruptiveness with later conduct problems through the use of a preventive intervention program. The program was implemented during the second and third grade. One model predicted that the program would positively affect later conduct problems by facilitating nondeviant peer association during early adolescence. The second model predicted a direct impact of the program on later conduct problems through the reduction of early disruptiveness. The third model predicted an interaction between postintervention disruptiveness and association with less deviant friends. The results showed that the program's effects on later conduct problems were mediated by the reduction in disruptiveness and by the association with less deviant friends. However, the positive effect of associating with less deviant friends depended on whether children's disruptiveness had been reduced or not by their participation in the program, thus supporting the third model. We recommend using intervention studies to test developmental models.
To determine whether DSM-III and DSM-III-R criteria for conduct disorder identify girls in the general population with early-onset, persistent, and pervasive antisocial behavior.
2,251 girls, representative of all girls entering kindergarten in Qúebec, were assessed using parent and teacher ratings of antisocial behavior; a subsample was then rated for the next 6 years (ages 7 to 12) by parent and teacher. At age 10 years, the girls who been rated as antisocial in kindergarten, along with a random sample of those not rated as antisocial, were assessed for DSM-III and DSM-III-R diagnoses of conduct and oppositional defiant disorder using a structured psychiatric interview (Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children) administered to the parent, teacher, and/or child (n = 381).
Of the girls with early-onset, persistent, and pervasive antisocial behavior, 3% met DSM-III-R criteria and 22% met DSM-III criteria for conduct disorder. Conduct disorder was not diagnosed at all in girls who had not been initially rated as antisocial in kindergarten. Lowering the threshold for a DSM-III-R conduct disorder diagnosis to two symptoms and adding the criterion of violation of rules increased the rate of diagnosis to 35% in the pervasively antisocial girls but only to 1% in girls who did not have persistent antisocial behavior.
DSM-III-R criteria for conduct disorder do not identify most preadolescent girls with early-onset, pervasive, and persistent antisocial behavior. Modifications to the DSM-III-R criteria resulted in increased sensitivity without a loss of specificity.
This study compares the attitudes, knowledge, and behavior of parents of 5- to 17-year-old children regarding youth gambling. This information was obtained through two telephone surveys conducted in 1995, and 5 years later in 2000, in the Québec City area. Survey 1, in 1995, was conducted on 279 respondents, while survey 2, in 2000, was carried out with 213 respondents. Results showed a number of changes in parents' attitudes, behavior, and knowledge concerning youth gambling: For example, parents' perception of the age of onset of gambling behavior had improved slightly at the end of the 5-year period. Furthermore, parents were more satisfied with government limitation of access to gambling, and more accurately informed about legal aspects of the sale of lottery tickets. However, the percentage of parents who failed to associate youth gambling with some of its correlates (arcade attendance, parental gambling problems, and friendship with gamblers) increased from 1995 to year 2000. The improvements that were observed suggested that parents had benefited from media-transmitted information during this period. However, the deterioration of some parental attitudes, and the stability of other variables, suggest that it is still important to educate parents about youth gambling, and to design interventions adapted to parents' needs.
This study compared sons of male alcoholics (SOMAs) who had no problems with those who were abusing substances, those who had school problems, those who were delinquent and those who were multiproblem. Corresponding groups of non-SOMAs were also included. Groups were compared at ages 6, 10, 12 and 14 years on teacher- and peer-rated aggressiveness, hyperactivity, inattention, anxiety and prosociality; parent-rated temperament; parents' disciplinary practices; school performance; family socio-economic status; self-reported substance (ab)use and delinquency; and school performance (from school records). Differences between SOMAs and non-SOMAs were small. According to teachers and peers, no problem SOMAs and non-SOMAs were less aggressive-oppositional, inattentive and hyperactive than problem SOMAs and non-SOMAs. These effects differed as a function of age, however. Also, no problem SOMAs and non-SOMAs performed better in school than boys in the problem groups. We discuss the relevance of these findings for identifying factors that render children resilient and for early screening to select truly at risk SOMAs for prevention programs.
Childhood disruptiveness is one of the most important antecedents of heavy substance use in adolescence, especially among boys. The first aim of the present study is to verify whether parental monitoring and friend conventionality protect disruptive boys from engaging in heavy substance-use in adolescence. The second purpose is to examine whether these protective effects are strengthened by attachment to parents or friends respectively. Finally, the third objective is to verify whether the expected protective effect of parental monitoring could be mediated through exposure to conventional friends. A sample of 1037 boys from low socioeconomic neighbourhoods was followed from childhood (age 6) to adolescence (age 15). Parent, teacher, and self-reported measures were used to measure disruptiveness, parental monitoring, family attachment, friend conventionality, and attachment to friends. Results suggest that parental monitoring and friends' conventionality mitigated the relationship between childhood disruptiveness and adolescence heavy substance use. Exposure to conventional friends further mediated the protective effect of parent monitoring. The postulated enhancement of attachment quality on the protective effect of parents or peer behaviors was not confirmed, but low attachment was related to heavier substance use in highly monitored disruptive boys. Parental monitoring, family attachment, and peer conventionality are factors amenable to intervention, and thus represent promising targets for future prevention strategies aimed at-risk boys. Our results underscore the importance of simultaneously addressing the behavioral and the affective dimensions in interventions with parents.
Epidemiological studies of illegal drug use in adolescents have examined frequency of drug use; a few have examined diagnoses or symptoms of drug abuse or dependence. This study examined problem use of illegal drugs, about which very little is known.
Adolescents (879 boys and 929 girls), mean age of 15.7 years, representative of the province of Québec, Canada, were asked about problem use of alcohol and illegal drugs.
Almost one third had used illegal drugs more than 5 times. Of this group, more than 70% reported going to school high on drugs, and the majority reported playing sports while high and using drugs in the morning. In these drugs users, 94% of the boys and 85% of the girls reported at least 1 problem and two thirds of the boys and more than half of the girls reported 3 or more problems from illegal drugs. Marijuana was used by almost all subjects at the time of maximal drug use; hallucinogens were the second most commonly used drug. Alcohol was used more frequently than illegal drugs, but problem use was less common.
Problem drug use is the norm among the large minority who use illegal drugs more than a few times, and drug use is commonly incorporated into 2 major routine activities of teenagers--school and sports.