Early Childhood Predictors of Antisocial Behavior: A Multiethnic Assessment of Pathways to Child Psychopathology

Cynthia Perez McCluskey, Michigan State University
Roni Mayzer, Michigan State University

Antisocial behavior in childhood has been identified as a risk factor for developmental problems in adolescence, including substance use and serious juvenile delinquency. Given the potential for negative outcomes, it is important that risk factors for child antisocial behavior be identified. To date, findings have been largely derived from general population samples and literature on child behavior problems and ethnicity is limited. Although some studies have attempted to include minority populations, it is unclear whether the etiology of child psychopathology is consistent across racial and ethnic groups. To address thia question, data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth are utilized to examine a variety of risk factors for child antisocial behavior. Risk factors are examioned across developmental stages and include family background, environmental characteristics, prenatal health, early childhood health, child cognitive functioning, and temperament. Multiple ethnic groups are included in the analysis and structural equation modeling is used to identify pathways to childhood antisocial behavior.

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Updated 05/20/2006