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J Epidemiol Community Health. 2013 Jan;67(1):76-80. doi: 10.1136/jech-2011-200856. Epub 2012 Jul 27.

What predicts persistent early conduct problems? Evidence from the Growing Up in Scotland cohort.

Author information

1
Institute of Health and Wellbeing, University of Glasgow, Caledonia House, Royal Hospital for Sick Children, Glasgow G3 8SJ, UK. philip.wilson@glasgow.ac.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

There is a strong case for early identification of factors predicting life-course-persistent conduct disorder. The authors aimed to identify factors associated with repeated parental reports of preschool conduct problems.

METHOD:

Nested case-control study of Scottish children who had behavioural data reported by parents at 3, 4 and 5 years.

RESULTS:

79 children had abnormal conduct scores at all three time points ('persistent conduct problems') and 434 at one or two points ('inconsistent conduct problems'). 1557 children never had abnormal scores. Compared with children with no conduct problems, children with reported problems were significantly more likely to have mothers who smoked during pregnancy. They were less likely to be living with both parents and more likely to be in poor general health, to have difficulty being understood, to have a parent who agrees that smacking is sometimes necessary and to be taken to visit other people with children rarely. The results for children with persistent and inconsistent conduct problems were similar, but associations with poverty and maternal smoking were significantly less strong in the inconsistent group.

CONCLUSION:

These factors may be valuable in early identification of risk of major social difficulties.

PMID:
22844082
PMCID:
PMC3534305
DOI:
10.1136/jech-2011-200856
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
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