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06-10-2016 | Original Article | Uitgave 4/2017

Child Psychiatry & Human Development 4/2017

Developmental Trajectories of Youth Conduct Problems: Testing Later Development and Related Outcomes in a 12-Year Period

Child Psychiatry & Human Development > Uitgave 4/2017
Laura López-Romero, Estrella Romero, Paula Villar


Developmental heterogeneity of youth conduct problems has been widely assumed, leading to the identification of distinctive groups at particular risk of more serious problems later in development. The present study intends to expand the main results of a prior study focused on identifying developmental trajectories of conduct problems (Stable-low, Stable-high, and Decreasing), by analyzing their developmental course and related outcomes during middle/late adolescence and early adulthood. Two follow-up studies were conducted 10 and 12 years after the initial study with 115 and 122 youths respectively (mean = 17.29 and 19.18). Overall results underline that the Early-onset persistent group showed the highest risk-profile; the Childhood-limited group revealed a moderate level of later maladjustment; and the Adolescence-onset group, currently identified, showed a significant peak of risk particularly in middle/late adolescence. These findings provide a more comprehensive representation of youth conduct problems, and open new means of discussion in terms of preventive intervention.

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