Skip to main content
×
Home
    • Aa
    • Aa

Taxonomy and comorbidity of conduct problems: Evidence from empirically based approaches

  • Thomas M. Achenbach (a1)
Abstract
Abstract

Many children meet criteria for multiple Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM) categories, such as oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) and conduct disorder (CD). If each disorder has been well validated as a separate entity, statistically significant co-occurrence of different disorders may be highly informative. However, ODD and CD have not been well validated as separate entities. The very high rate of overlap between diagnoses of ODD and CD may therefore arise artifactually from the lack of a valid distinction between them, rather than from potentially informative comorbidity between two different disorders. Empirical research strongly supports a distinction between two syndromes that correspond to subsets of the DSM-III-R criteria for CD. Designated as delinquent behavior and aggressive behavior, these syndromes have been found to differ in biological correlates, heritability, developmental stability, course, response to interventions, and long-term outcomes. At this stage of our knowledge, empirically based assessment and taxonomic methods can be especially useful for distinguishing between syndromes, deriving norms, doing longitudinal studies, and detecting patterns of comorbidity. These methods do not preclude categorical taxa, which can be formed by imposing cutpoints on the distributions of syndrome scores. Categorical taxa can also be formed by cluster analyzing profiles of syndrome scores. Accelerated longitudinal designs can bring multiple analyses to bear on empirically derived syndromes to test complex developmental relations more quickly and powerfully than can traditional longitudinal designs. Follow-ups of high-risk groups can identify variables that predict good versus poor outcomes if standardized baseline and outcome measures are used. Interventions for conduct problems should be designed to counteract the risk factors found to predict poor long-term outcomes.

Copyright
Corresponding author
Address reprint requests to: Thomas M. Achenbach, Department of Psychiatry, University of Vermont, 1 South Prospect Street, Burlington, VT 05401.
Linked references
Hide All

This list contains references from the content that can be linked to their source. For a full set of references and notes please see the PDF or HTML where available.

T. M. Achenbach (1991a). “Comorbidity” in child and adolescent psychiatry: Categorical and quantitative perspectives. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, 1, 271278.

T. M. Achenbach , C. K. Conners , H. C. Quay , F. C. Verhulst , & C. T. Howell (1989). Replication of empirically derived syndromes as a basis for taxonomy of child/adolescent psychopathology. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 17, 299323.

T. M. Achenbach , & C. Edelbrock (1978). The classification of child psychopathology: A review and analysis of empirical efforts. Psychological Bulletin, 85, 12751301.

G. J. August , & B. D. Garfinkel (1990). Comorbidity of ADHD and reading disability among clinic-referred children. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 18, 2945.

B. Birmaher , M. Stanley , L. Greenhill , I. Twomey , A. Gavrilescu , & H. Rabinovich (1990). Platelet imipramine binding in children and adolescents with impulsive behavior. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 29, 914918.

N. Cantor , E. E. Smith , R. deS. French , & J. Mezzich (1980). Psychiatric diagnosis as prototype categorization. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 89, 181193.

C. Caron , & M. Rutter (1991). Comorbidity in child psychopathology: Concepts, issues, and research strategies. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 32, 10631080.

Ghodsian- J. Carpey , & L. A. Baker (1987). Genetic and environmental influences on aggression in 4- to 7-year-old twins. Aggressive Behavior, 13, 173186.

F. A. Henn , R. Bardwell , & R. L. Jenkins (1980). Juvenile delinquents revisited. Adult criminal activity. Archives of General Psychiatry, 37, 11601163.

L. M. Horowitz , D. L. Post , R. deS. French , K. D. Wallis , & E. Y. Siegelman (1981). The prototype as a construct in abnormal psychology: 2. Clarifying disagreement in psychiatric judgments. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 90, 575585.

L. M. Horowitz , J. C. Wright , E. Lowenstein , & H. W. Parad (1981). The prototype as a construct in abnormal psychology: 1. A method for deriving prototypes. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 90, 568574.

R. L. Jenkins , & A. Boyer (1968). Types of delinquent behavior and background factors. International Journal of Social Psychiatry, 14, 6576.

B. B. Lahey , R. Loeber , M. Stouthamer-Loeber , M. A. G. Christ , S. Green , M. F. Russo , P. J. Frick , & M. Dulcan (1990). Comparison of DSM-III and DSM-III-R diagnoses for prepubertal children: Changes in prevalence and validity. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 29, 620626.

R. Loeber , & K. B. Schmaling (1985). Empirical evidence for overt and covert patterns of antisocial conduct problems: A meta-analysis. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 13, 337352.

J. M. McClellan , M. P. Rubert , R. J. Reichler , & C. E. Sylvester (1990). Attention deficit disorder in children at risk for anxiety and depression. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 29, 534539.

S. H. McConaughy , C. Stanger , & T. M. Achenbach (1992). Three-year course of behavioral/emotional problems in a national sample of 4- to 16-year-olds: I. Agreement among informants. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 31, 932940.

R. L. Spitzer , M. Davies , & R. A. Barkley (1990). The DSM-III-R field trial of disruptive behavior disorders. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 29, 690697.

C. Stanger , S. H. McConaughy , & T. M. Achenbach (1992). Three-year course of behavioral/emotional problems in a national sample of 4- to 16-year-olds: I. Predictors of syndromes. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 31, 941950.

R. Steingard , J. Biederman , A. Doyle , & S. Sprich-Buckminster (1992). Psychiatric comorbidity in attention deficit disorder: Impact on the interpretation of Child Behavior Checklist results. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 31, 449454.

F. C. Verhulst , H. M. Koot , & G. F. Berden M. G. (1990). Four-year follow-up of an epidemiological sample. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 29, 440448.

J. L. Walker , B. B. Lahey , M. F. Russo , M. A. G. Christ , K. McBurnett , R. Loeber , M. Stouthamer-Loeber , & S. M. Green (1991). Anxiety, inhibition, and conduct disorder in children: I. Relations to social impairment. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 30, 187191.

S. R. Weinstein , G. G. Noam , K. Grimes , K. Stone , & M. Schwab-Stone (1990). Convergence of DSM-III diagnoses and self-reported symptoms in child and adolescent inpatients. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 29, 627634.

Recommend this journal

Email your librarian or administrator to recommend adding this journal to your organisation's collection.

Development and Psychopathology
  • ISSN: 0954-5794
  • EISSN: 1469-2198
  • URL: /core/journals/development-and-psychopathology
Please enter your name
Please enter a valid email address
Who would you like to send this to? *
×

Metrics

Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 7 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 68 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between September 2016 - 25th May 2017. This data will be updated every 24 hours.