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J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 1994 Sep;35(6):1123-40.

The childhoods of multiple problem adolescents: a 15-year longitudinal study.

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  • 1Christchurch School of Medicine, Christchurch Hospital, New Zealand.


This paper examines the life history of a small group of adolescents (3%) who were identified during the course of a longitudinal study of a birth cohort of New Zealand children as displaying multiple problem behaviours at the age of 15 years. This group was characterised by conduct disorder, police contact, substance abuse behaviours, early onset sexual activity, suicidal ideation, mood disorders and lowered self esteem. Statistical biographies of this group of young people showed that many were the offspring of seriously disadvantaged, dysfunctional and disorganised home environments. The implications of these findings for the understanding and treatment of multiple problem behaviours in adolescence are discussed.

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