Successful academic performance during adolescence is a key predictor of lifetime achievement, including occupational and social success. The present study investigated the important transition from primary to secondary schooling during early adolescence, when academic performance among youth often declines. The goal of the study was to understand how risk factors, specifically lower family resources and male gender, threaten academic success following this "critical transition" in schooling. The study involved a longitudinal examination of the predictors of academic performance in grades 7-8 among 127 (56 % girls) French-speaking Quebec (Canada) adolescents from lower-income backgrounds. As hypothesized based on transition theory, hierarchical regression analyses showed that supportive parenting and specific academic, social and behavioral competencies (including spelling ability, social skills, and lower levels of attention problems) predicted success across this transition among at-risk youth. Multiple-mediation procedures demonstrated that the set of compensatory factors fully mediated the negative impact of lower family resources on academic success in grades 7-8. Unique mediators (social skills, spelling ability, supportive parenting) also were identified. In addition, the "gender gap" in performance across the transition could be attributed statistically to differences between boys and girls in specific competencies observed prior to the transition, as well as differential parenting (i.e., support from mother) towards girls and boys. The present results contribute to our understanding of the processes by which established risk factors, such as low family income and gender impact development and academic performance during early adolescence. These "transitional" processes and subsequent academic performance may have consequences across adolescence and beyond, with an impact on lifetime patterns of achievement and occupational success.
Achenbach's Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) and Teachers' Report Form (TRF) were administered to 6-12 year old school children comprising a large random community sample (n = 1200) drawn from the whole of Greece. These are the first data on the TRF in Greece and the first nation-wide data on the CBCL. Appropriate cutoff points for the behavioral problems and competence scales of both questionnaires were obtained for boys and girls. These were considerably higher than USA cutoffs for the CBCL but not for the TRF. Analysis of scores in relation to degree of urbanization showed that it was not necessary to define different cutoffs in different strata. Parents' and teachers' ratings of the same child were most highly correlated for Externalizing and Aggressive behavior for boys and for Attention problems for both sexes.
This study explores the feasibility of adapting Kleinman's concept of explanatory models of illness to the study of youth violence and is conducted within the hermeneutic tradition. Data were collected by interviewing 11 violent adolescents, their parents, and their caregivers. Four types of explanatory models representing the adolescent girls', the adolescent boys', the caregivers', and the parents' understanding of youth violence are found; they correspond sufficiently to Kleinman's concept and establish the feasibility of adapting it to the study of youth violence. The developmental nature of the parents' and adolescents' models makes it feasible to study them by means of hermeneutic methodology. There are some clinically significant discrepancies between the caregivers' and the clients' explanatory models; identifying such discrepancies is an essential step in the process of breaking down barriers to therapeutic communications. Violent adolescents should be encouraged to define their own explanatory models of violence through dialogue with their caregivers.
Here, we provide an overview of previous family studies of addiction and present a new family study based on clinical data for more than 19,000 individuals who have been treated for addiction in Iceland over the last three decades. Coupled with the extensive Icelandic genealogy information, this population-based sample provides a unique opportunity for family studies. The relative risk (RR) was determined for up to fifth-degree relatives of probands diagnosed with alcohol, cannabis, sedative, and amphetamine dependence. We observe highly significant RR values for all substances ranging from 2.27 for alcohol to 7.3 for amphetamine, for first-degree relatives, and RRs significantly above 1 for distant relations, where the effect of shared environmental factors is minimized. The magnitude of risk in psychostimulant dependence is particularly striking. These findings emphasize the role of genetics in the etiology of addiction and highlight the importance of substance-specific effects.
This study presents effects of adding Circle of Security-Parenting (COS-P) to an already established comprehensive therapeutic model for early parent-child intervention in three Swedish infant mental health (IMH) clinics. Parents' internal representations and quality of parent-infant interaction were studied in a clinical sample comprised of 52 parent-infant dyads randomly allocated to two comparable groups. One group consisted of 28 dyads receiving treatment as usual (TAU) supplemented with COS-P in a small group format, and another group of 24 dyads receiving TAU only. Assessments were made at baseline (T1), 6 months after inclusion (T2) and 12 months after inclusion (T3). Changes over time were explored in 42 dyads. In the COS-P group, the proportion of balanced representations, as assessed with Working Model of the Child Interview (WMCI), significantly increased between T1 and T3. Further, the proportion of emotionally available interactions, as assessed with Emotional Availability scales (EA), significantly increased over time in the COS-P group. Improvements in the TAU-group were close to significant. Limitations of the study are mainly related to the small sample size. Strength is the real world character of the study, where COS-P was implemented in a clinical context not otherwise adapted to research. We conclude by discussing the value of supplementing TAU with COS-P in IMH treatment.
OBJECTIVE: To study characteristics of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in a representative group of clinically impaired young children in Sweden with the disorder. METHOD: One hundred thirty-one children with ADHD (aged 3-7 years) were examined, and their parents were interviewed. Independent parent questionnaire data (Child Behavior Checklist, ADHD Rating Scale-IV, Conners) were collected. For comparison 131 children without ADHD were matched for age, gender, parents' marital status, child's adoption status, and social class. RESULTS: Children with ADHD had extremely high ADHD symptom levels--on average four to eight times higher than the comparison group. Sociodemographic correlates of ADHD symptoms were more pronounced in parent questionnaire data than in parent interview data, underscoring the importance of diagnostic interview when dealing with clinical issues. Very few of the children with ADHD (6%) appeared "normal" with regard to attention/activity level at clinical examination. CONCLUSIONS: Clinic children with a diagnosis of DSM-IV ADHD have typical and impairing symptoms already before starting school. The variance of ADHD in this age group appears to be accounted for by primary psychosocial factors only to a limited degree. It would seem reasonable to establish supportive and treatment measures for these young children so that the psychosocial and academic problems shown by so many individuals with ADHD later in their development might be reduced.