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Childhood predictors of psychiatric disorders among boys: a prospective community-based follow-up study from age 8 years to early adulthood.

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Department of Child Psychiatry, Turku University Hospital, Finland.



To study early childhood predictors for early adulthood psychiatric disorders.


The sample included 2,712 Finnish boys born in 1981. Information about the 8-year-old boys' problem behavior was obtained from parents, teachers, and children. The 10-15-year follow-up information about psychiatric disorders in early adulthood was based on the national military register between the years 1999 and 2004.


According to the military register, 10.4% of men had a psychiatric disorder. All informant sources, parents, teachers, and the children themselves predicted early adulthood psychiatric disorders. Conduct symptoms at age 8 independently predicted substance abuse, antisocial personality, and psychotic disorders in early adulthood. Self-reported depressive symptoms, poor school performance, and living in a nonintact family had an independent predictive association with antisocial personality and depressive disorders. Parent-reported emotional symptoms and self-reported psychosomatic symptoms independently predicted anxiety disorders. About one third of those who had used services at age 8 had a psychiatric disorder in early adulthood. Among service users, conduct and hyperkinetic symptoms predicted psychiatric disorders in early adulthood.


Efforts to prevent early adult psychiatric disturbance already present in childhood are emphasized. Active screening to detect children in need of early interventions in childhood to prevent negative development in early adulthood is justified.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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