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Temperamental influences on psychosocial adjustment: From infancy to adolescence

  • Ann Sanson (a1), Margot Prior (a1), Frank Oberklaid (a2) and Diana Smart (a1)

Abstract

Results are presented from a recent study within the Australian Temperament Project (ATP), in which a group of children with significant behaviour problems, and a comparison group, were selected from the sample at 11–12 years and home-visited, with assessments of clinical diagnoses, intelligence, school achievement and social competence, and a variety of family functioning indices. Approximately half the behaviour problem group received at least one diagnosis. Twice as many boys as girls were diagnosed. Rates of comorbidity were high but, generally, within—rather than between—the broadband internalising or externalising spectra. Concurrent family functioning measures discriminated between groups, but not as strongly as intrinsic child measures, and the particular family variables that best discriminated between groups showed sex differences. High stability of behaviour problems from earlier years was evident, and the behaviour problem group differed from the comparison group on measures of temperament, behaviour, and context from early childhood; both findings reinforce the need for early intervention.The implications of these and other findings from the ATP, particularly the need for early intervention, are discussed.

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Corresponding author

Department of Psychology, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Vic. 3052, Phone: (03) 9344 6361, Fax: (03) 9347 6618, E-mail: a.sanson@psych.unimelb.edu.a

References

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