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J Abnorm Child Psychol. 2007 Feb;35(1):97-110. Epub 2006 Dec 13.

Examining subtypes of behavior problems among 3-year-old children, Part I: investigating validity of subtypes and biological risk-factors.

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Department of Psychology, University of Massachusetts, Tobin Hall, 135 Hicks Way, Amherst, MA 01003, USA.


This study examined 3-year-old children who were classified as hyperactive (HYP), oppositional-defiant (OD), hyperactive and oppositional defiant (HYP/OD), and non-problem based on mothers' reports of behavior. Using fathers,' teachers,' and observers' ratings of children's behavior, concurrent validity was excellent for the HYP/OD group, moderate for the HYP group, and poor for the OD group. As predicted, both the HYP/OD and HYP groups reported more prenatal/perinatal birth complications and a greater family history of hyperactivity than did non-problem children. Furthermore, the HYP/OD group showed a greater family history of conduct disorder and oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) symptoms than did non-problem children; however, the HYP group also showed a greater family history of ODD than did non-problem children. Results suggest that as early as age 3, these behavior subtypes appear to be linked to biologically-based risk-factors in ways that are consistent with theories of the development of ADHD.

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