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Am J Community Psychol. 1991 Aug;19(4):563-84.

Developmental epidemiologically based preventive trials: baseline modeling of early target behaviors and depressive symptoms.

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Department of Mental Hygiene, Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, Baltimore, Maryland 21205.


Describes a conceptual framework for identifying and targeting developmental antecedents in early childhood that have been shown in previous work to predict delinquency and violent behavior, heavy drug use, depression, and other psychiatric symptoms and possibly disorders in late adolescence and into adulthood. Criteria are described that guided choices of targets for two epidemiologically based, randomized preventive trials carried out in 19 elementary schools in the eastern half of Baltimore, involving more than 2,400 first-grade children over the course of first and second grades. Baseline models derived from the first of two cohorts show the evolving patterns of concurrence among the target antecedents. The central role of concentration problems emerged. From Fall to Spring in first grade, concentration problems led to shy and aggressive behavior and poor achievement in both genders and to depressive symptoms among girls. There was evidence for reciprocal relationships in girls. For example, depressive symptoms led to poor achievement in both girls and boys, whereas poor achievement led to depressive symptoms in girls but not boys, at least over the first-grade year. These results provide important epidemiological data relevant to the developmental paths leading to the problem outcomes and suggest preventive trials.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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