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Associations Between Temperament and DSM-IV Externalizing Disorders in Children and Adolescents

RETTEW, DAVID C., M.D.; COPELAND, WILLIAM, B.A.; STANGER, CATHERINE, Ph.D.; HUDZIAK, JAMES J., M.D.

Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics: December 2004 - Volume 25 - Issue 6 - p 383-391
ORIGINAL ARTICLES
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ABSTRACT. This study investigated associations between child temperament and DSM-IV disorders in children. A total of 156 probands (97 boys, 59 girls; mean age = 10.78 years) and 154 randomly selected siblings were assessed using the Junior Temperament and Character Inventory (JTCI) and a structured DSM-IV interview. Subjects were placed in nonoverlapping groups of (1) attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) only, (2) disruptive behavior disorders (DBD) only, (3) DBD plus an affective and/or anxiety disorder (DBD+Int), and (4) controls with no diagnosis. Many JTCI scales were found to differ between diagnostic groups and controls. Regression analyses showed independent associations between low persistence and ADHD-only group membership, high novelty seeking (NS), and the DBD-only group and between high harm avoidance (HA) and DBD+Int group membership. The interaction NS × HA was related to the ADHD-only group. Future research is needed to determine the mechanism of these association.

Department of Psychiatry, University of Vermont College of Medicine, Burlington, Vermont

Received February 2004; accepted August 2004.

Address for reprints: David C. Rettew, M.D., Department of Psychiatry, University of Vermont College of Medicine, Given Building Room B227, Burlington, VT 05405; e-mail: david.rettew@uvm.edu.

© 2004 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.