Explaining the relationship between temperament and symptoms of psychiatric disorders from preschool to middle childhood: hybrid fixed and random effects models of Norwegian and Spanish children

Lars Wichstrøm, Eva Penelo, Kristine Rensvik Viddal, Nuria de la Osa, Lourdes Ezpeleta

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

© 2017 The Authors. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health. Background: Four explanations for the concurrent and prospective associations between temperament and psychopathology in children have been suggested: predisposition, complication/scar, common cause/continuity, and pathoplasty/exacerbation. Because the confounding effects of common causes have not been ruled out in prior work, the support for the various explanations is uncertain. Methods: Screen-stratified community samples of 4-year olds in Trondheim, Norway (n = 1,042), and 3-year olds in Barcelona, Spain (n = 622), were assessed biennially for symptoms of attention-deficit/hyperactivity (ADHD), oppositional defiant (ODD), conduct (CD), anxiety, and depressive disorders through interviewer-based psychiatric interviews across four waves of data collection. The parents completed child temperament ratings. The data were analyzed with random and fixed effects regression adjusted for all time-invariant unmeasured confounders (e.g., genetics, common methods bias, item overlap). Results: In both Norway and Spain and across ages, negative affect predisposed children to symptoms of all disorders except CD, low effortful control predisposed children to ADHD and ODD-symptoms, and surgency predisposed children to increased ADHD-symptoms. Complication effects were observed in the Spanish children for ADHD-symptoms, which increased surgency and diminished effortful control, and for ODD-symptoms, which decreased surgency. The common cause and pathoplasty/exacerbation explanations were not supported. Conclusions: The present results are consistent with the view that temperament plays a causal role in the development of symptoms of psychiatric disorders in children. Because temperament is malleable, interventions targeting the affective, attentional, and behavioral regulatory components of temperament may reduce psychopathology in children.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)285-295
JournalJournal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines
Volume59
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Mar 2018

Keywords

  • ADHD
  • anxiety
  • complication
  • conduct disorder
  • continuity
  • depression
  • effortful control
  • exacerbation
  • fixed effects
  • longitudinal
  • negative affectivity
  • oppositional defiant disorder
  • pathoplasty
  • predisposition
  • prospective
  • psychiatric symptoms
  • random effects
  • scar
  • surgency
  • temperament

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