Continuities and Discontinuities in Internalizing and Externalizing Problems From Childhood to Early Adulthood: Depression, Anxiety and Violence

Rick Kosterman, Social Development Research Group
J. David Hawkins, University of Washington
Todd I. Herrenkohl, University of Washington
Karl G. Hill, University of Washington
Richard F. Catalano, University of Washington
Robert D. Abbott, University of Washington

Research has suggested that adult disorders can be predicted from childhood symptoms of these disorders, as well as from other problem behaviors. Childhood internalizing problems, as well as conduct problems, have been linked to adult depression and anxiety. Similarly, childhood symptoms of ADHA have been linked to adult violence. This paper examines the continuity of internalizing and externalizing problems from childhood to adulthood. The extent to which unique versus common childhood behavior problems are linked to different adult outcomes is explored, as well as the role of co-occurring problems. The study examines the emergence of syndromes of symptoms and thresholds at which they have predictive power for adult outcomes. The Seattle Social Development Project (SSDP) is a multiethnic and gender-balanced urban panel of 808 participants constituted in 1985. The dataset consists of ten waves from ages 10 to 24, and includes measures from the Achenbach Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) during childhood and adolescence, and assessments based on the Diagnostic Interview Schedule in adulthood. Relationships between early behavior problems, including teacher and parent reports on the CBCL, and depression, anxiety and violence at ages 21 to 24 are examined, as well as the role of gender, ethnicity and possible interactions.

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Updated 05/20/2006