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J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol. 2008 Oct;37(4):794-807. doi: 10.1080/15374410802359635.

Psychometric characteristics of a measure of emotional dispositions developed to test a developmental propensity model of conduct disorder.

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Department of Health Studies, University of Chicago, 5811 South Maryland Avenue, Chicago, IL 60637, USA.


Lahey and Waldman proposed a developmental propensity model in which three dimensions of children's emotional dispositions are hypothesized to transact with the environment to influence risk for conduct disorder, heterogeneity in conduct disorder, and comorbidity with other disorders. To prepare for future tests of this model, a new measure of these dispositions was tested. Exploratory factor analysis of potential items was conducted in a sample of 1,358 participants 4 to 17 years of age. Confirmatory factor analyses then confirmed the three dispositional dimensions in a second sample of 2,063 pairs of 6- to 17-year-old twins. Caretaker ratings of the dispositional dimensions were associated as predicted with symptoms of conduct disorder and other psychopathology. In a third sample, caretaker ratings of each disposition correlated uniquely with relevant observational measures of child behavior and unintentional injuries. These findings provide initial support for the new dispositional measure.

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