Worried, sad, and breaking rules? Understanding the developmental interrelations among symptoms of anxiety, depression, and conduct problems during early childhood
AuthorFanti, Kostas A.
Colins, Olivier F.
SourceJournal of Criminal Justice
Google Scholar check
MetadataShow full item record
Research investigating the developmental interrelations among symptoms of anxiety, depression, and conduct problems in early childhood is lacking. The present study aims to fill this significant knowledge gap. A large Swedish prospective longitudinal data set (SOFIA study) was utilized, in which approximately 2.000 children have been assessed by parents and school staff at four time points, beginning at ages 3–5 and the fourth assessment conducted at ages 8–10. Results showed that symptoms of anxiety and depression were positively related to conduct problems, both cross-sectionally and longitudinally, and among both boys and girls. However, when all other variables were controlled for in the path analysis, a different picture emerged. Cross-sectional unidirectional positive effects from conduct problems to depressive symptoms were identified at each time point, with the effect from conduct problems to depressive symptoms during middle childhood being only significant among girls. Furthermore, conduct problems predicted anxiety symptoms during middle childhood among both boys and girls. Neither depressive nor anxiety symptoms predicted conduct problems. These findings suggest that conduct problems are associated with increased risk for depressive and anxiety symptoms, and may contribute to the development of psychopathological symptoms during childhood. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)