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Association of childhood externalizing, internalizing and comorbid symptoms with long-term economic outcomes

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  01 September 2022

F. Vergunst*
Affiliation:
University of Montreal, Social And Preventive Medicine, Chemin de la Côte Ste-Catherine , Canada
M. Commisso
Affiliation:
McGill University, Department Of Psychiatry, Rue Sherbrooke, Canada
M.-C. Geoffroy
Affiliation:
McGill University, Department Of Psychiatry, Rue Sherbrooke, Canada
C. Temcheff
Affiliation:
McGill University, Department Of Educational And Counselling Psychology, Rue Sherbrooke, Canada
S. Scardera
Affiliation:
McGill University, Department Of Educational And Counselling Psychology, Rue Sherbrooke, Canada
M. Poirier
Affiliation:
McGill University, Department Of Educational And Counselling Psychology, Rue Sherbrooke, Canada
S. Côté
Affiliation:
University of Montreal, Social And Preventive Medicine, Chemin de la Côte Ste-Catherine , Canada
F. Vitaro
Affiliation:
University of Montreal, Department Of Psychoeducation, Chemin de la Côte Ste-Catherine , Canada
G. Turecki
Affiliation:
McGill University, Department Of Psychiatry, Rue Sherbrooke, Canada
R. Tremblay
Affiliation:
University of Montreal, Social And Preventive Medicine, Chemin de la Côte Ste-Catherine , Canada
M. Orri
Affiliation:
McGill University, Department Of Psychiatry, Rue Sherbrooke, Canada
*
*Corresponding author.

Abstract

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Introduction

Externalising and internalising problems are common in school-aged children. Few studies have examined the association between comorbid externalising and internalising symptoms and adult-life economic participation.

Objectives

To investigate associations of childhood externalising, internalising, and comorbid internalising-externalising symptoms with earnings and welfare receipt in adulthood.

Methods

We used group-based trajectory modeling to identify profiles of children with externalising, internalising, and comorbid symptoms from age 6-12 years. We estimated associations of the identified profiles with participants’ employment earnings at age 33-37 years and welfare receipt from age 18-35 years obtained from tax return records. The child’s IQ and family socioeconomic background were adjusted for.

Results

Four profiles were identified: no symptoms (45%), externalizing (29%), internalizing (11%) and comorbid symptoms (13%). Relative to the no-symptom profile, participants in the comorbid profile earned US$-18,323 less annually (95%CI=-20,925 to -15700) at age 33-37 years and were significantly more likely to receive welfare across follow-up (RR=6.30, 95%CI=5.4 to 7.2). Similarly, compared to the no-symptom profile, participants in the externalising profile earned US$-7,256 less per year (95%CI=-9,205 to -5,307), while participants in the internalising profile earned US$-9,716 less (95%CI=-12,358 to -7,074). Significant interactions by sex were observed. For participants in the comorbid profile, males were more likely to have lower earnings while females were more likely to receive welfare, relative to the no-symptom profile.

Conclusions

Children exhibiting comorbid externalising and internalising symptoms are at high risk of poor economic outcomes in adulthood. Early detection, prevention and management is crucial to improve the life chances of this vulnerable population.

Disclosure

No significant relationships.

Type
Abstract
Creative Commons
Creative Common License - CCCreative Common License - BY
This is an Open Access article, distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution licence (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted re-use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
Copyright
© The Author(s), 2022. Published by Cambridge University Press on behalf of the European Psychiatric Association
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