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J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 1990 Sep;31(6):871-89.

Follow-up of hard-to-manage preschoolers: adjustment at age 9 and predictors of continuing symptoms.

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  • 1Department of Psychology, University of Pittsburgh, PA 15260.


Hard-to-manage preschoolers and controls, studied initially at age 3 and followed up at school entry, were followed up again at age 9. Maternal interviews indicated that 67% of the hard-to-manage preschoolers who showed clinically significant problems at age 6 met DSM-III criteria for an externalizing disorder at age 9. Maternal and teacher ratings confirmed the diagnostic data. Hard-to-manage youngsters who had improved by age 6 did not differ from comparison children on maternal or teacher reports. Regression analyses indicated that earlier child behavior, maternal behavior, symptom ratings, and ongoing family stress predicted current symptoms of disorder.

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