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August 2021

Dimensions of early childhood behavior problems: Stability and predictors of change from 18 to 30 months

Author(s): Sanson, A.

Journal/Book: J Abnormal Child Psychol. 2000; 28: 233 Spring St, New York, NY 10013, USA. Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publ. 15-31.

Abstract: The prevalence, structure, stability, and predictors of change in early behavior problems were examined in a population-based sample of Norwegian children at 18 and 30 months of age (N = 750). A clear factor structure involving four dimensions emerged at both assessment times: Two factors were characterized by externalizing behaviors and were labeled Social Adjustment and Overactive-Inattentive; one factor tapped internalizing problems and was labeled Emotional Adjustment; and the fourth, related to general immaturity, was labeled Regulation. Specific patterns of child and family risk factors were associated with stability and change over the two time points for each factor. Children with stable problems had the most problematic characteristics on all significant predictors, followed by children with problems at one, but not both, time points. The data suggest that it is possible to identify risk factors for stable problems at 18 months, allowing some prediction of those children whose problems will persist over early childhood. Since specific risk factors emerged for specific types of behavior problems, the results may provide some much-needed guidance to early intervention efforts.

Note: Article Mathiesen KS, Regionsenter Undervisnng & Forskning Barne & Ungd, PB 143 Tasen, N-0801 Oslo, NORWAY

Keyword(s): preschool children; behavior problems; temperament; risk factors; 3-YEAR-OLD CHILDREN; EMOTIONAL-PROBLEMS; MENTAL-HEALTH; DIFFICULT TEMPERAMENT; EPIDEMIOLOGIC SAMPLE; MATERNAL DEPRESSION; PRESCHOOL-CHILDREN; VALIDITY; ANXIETY; PREVALENCE


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