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Little is known about the coexistence of oppositionality and obsessive-compulsive problems (OCP) in community children and how it affects their development until adolescence to prevent possible dysfunctions. The co-development of oppositional defiant dimensions and OCP is studied in 563 children (49.7% female) from ages 6 to 13 years, assessed yearly with measures answered by parents and teachers. A 4-class model based on Latent Class Growth Analysis for three parallel processes (irritability, defiant, and OCP) was selected, which showed adequate fitting indexes. Class 1 (n = 349, 62.0%) children scored low on all the measures. Class 2 (n = 53, 9.4%) contained children with high OCP and low irritability and defiant. Class 3 (n = 108, 19.2%) clustered children with high irritability and defiant and low OCP. Class 4 (n = 53, 9.4%) clustered comorbid irritability, defiant, and OCP characteristics. The classes showed different clinical characteristics through development. The developmental co-occurrence of irritability and defiant plus obsessive-compulsive behaviors is frequent and adds severity through development regarding comorbidity, peer problems, executive functioning difficulties, and daily functioning. The identification of different classes when combining oppositional problems and OCP may be informative to prevent developmental dysfunctions and to promote good adjustment through development.

Original languageEnglish
Article number10.1007/s10964-021-01508-x
Pages (from-to)1089-1105
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Youth and Adolescence
Publication statusPublished - 2 Nov 2021


  • Defiant/Headstrong; developmental trajectories; Irritability; Obsessive-compulsive; Oppositional defiant


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