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J Abnorm Child Psychol. 2003 Apr;31(2):219-29.

Reading problems and depressed mood.

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  • 1MRC Social, Genetic and Developmental Psychiatry Research Centre, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College, London, United Kingdom.


Although reading difficulties show well-established overlaps with disruptive behavior disorders in childhood, much less is known about reading-disabled children's vulnerability to emotional difficulties. Using longitudinal data from 6 assessments of boys in the Pittsburgh Youth Study, we found robust links between severe, persistent reading problems and increased risk for depressed mood in a community sample of boys aged 7 and 10 years at initial assessment, though not in those who had already entered their teens. These associations could not be accounted for in terms of selected family risks or comorbid disruptive behaviors; instead, the pattern of the findings pointed to the existence of more direct causal processes whereby reading problems influence younger boys' risk of depressed mood.

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