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J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 1990 Jan;31(2):243-63.

Epidemiology and course of psychiatric disorders in school-age children--results of a longitudinal study.

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Child Psychiatric Clinic, Central Institute of Mental Health, Mannheim, F.R.G.


In an epidemiological longitudinal study, 356 out of 399 8-yr old children were re-examined at age 13. Prevalence rates for psychiatric disorders of about 16% remained constant during adolescence. The course of emotional disorders proved very promising, while that of conduct disorders was extremely unfavorable. Remission of psychiatric disorders was also influenced by an improved psychosocial environment within the family. Development of disorders in initially healthy children was related to prior learning disabilities and stressful life events. More effective approaches in the treatment of conduct disorders as well as early detection of detrimental familial conditions and learning disabilities are called for.

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