Advertisement

European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

, Volume 25, Issue 5, pp 493–500 | Cite as

Unpacking the associations between heterogeneous externalising symptom development and academic attainment in middle childhood

  • Praveetha Patalay
  • Elian Fink
  • Peter Fonagy
  • Jessica Deighton
Original Contribution

Abstract

This study explores children’s externalising symptom development pathways between 8 and 11 years of age (three time points across 2 years) and examines their sociodemographic correlates and associations with change in academic attainment. Externalising symptoms were assessed for 5485 children across three consecutive years (M age = 8.7 years, SD = 0.30 at time 1). National standardised test scores served as an index of academic attainment. Using latent class growth analysis, six distinct trajectories of externalising symptom development were identified. Children who showed increasing externalising symptomatology across the three time points were more likely to be male or have special educational needs. These derived trajectories differentially predicted children’s subsequent academic attainment (controlling for earlier attainment). Children with increasing externalising symptomatology were significantly more likely to demonstrate negative change in academic achievement compared with children with consistently low externalising problems. The study helps to clarify the longitudinal association between externalising symptom development and academic attainment, and highlights the importance of early intervention for children with increasing externalising symptoms across middle childhood.

Keywords

Behaviour Conduct Children Externalising Attainment Education 

Notes

Acknowledgments

We would like to thank the English Department for Children, Schools and Families, now the Department for Education, for funding the wider study from which these data are drawn. We would also like to thank the Policy Research Unit in the Health of Children, Young People and Families, which is funded by the Department of Health Policy Research Programme for supporting this work. The views expressed are not necessarily those of either Department. We would like to acknowledge Dr. Eren Demir and Dr. Anke Görzig for their input. We are grateful to all the participating staff and students, and also thank other members and advisors of the research group who were involved in the wider project.

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

None.

References

  1. 1.
    Kovacs M, Devlin B (1998) Internalizing disorders in childhood. J Child Psychol Psychiatry 39:47–63. doi: 10.1111/1469-7610.00303 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Achenbach TM (1991) Manual for the child behavior checklist/4–18 and 1991 profile. University of Vermont, BurlingtonGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Figlio DN (2007) Boys named Sue: disruptive children and their peers. Educ Finance Policy 2:376–394. doi: 10.1162/edfp.2007.2.4.376 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Hinshaw SP (1992) Externalizing behavior problems and academic underachievement in childhood and adolescence: causal relationships and underlying mechanisms. Psychol Bull 111:127–155CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Adams SJ (2002) Educational attainment and health: evidence from a sample of older adults. Educ Econ 10:97–109. doi: 10.1080/09645290110110227 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Crystal S, Shea D, Krishnaswami S (1992) Educational attainment, occupational history, and stratification: determinants of later-life economic outcomes. J Gerontol 47:S213–S221CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Ansary NS, Luthar SS (2009) Distress and academic achievement among adolescents of affluence: a study of externalizing and internalizing problem behaviors and school performance. Dev Psychopathol 21:319–341. doi: 10.1017/S0954579409000182 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Kessler RC, Foster CL, Saunders WB, Stang PE (1995) Social consequences of psychiatric disorders, I: educational attainment. Am J Psychiatry 152:1026–1032CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Hinshaw SP, Anderson CA (1996) Conduct and oppositional defiant disorders. In: Marsh EJ, Barkley RA (eds) Child psychopathology. Guilford Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Moilanen KL, Shaw DS, Maxwell KL (2010) Developmental cascades: externalizing, internalizing, and academic competence from middle childhood to early adolescence. Dev Psychopathol 22:635–653. doi: 10.1017/S0954579410000337 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    van Lier PA, Vitaro F, Barker ED, Brendgen M, Tremblay RE, Boivin M (2012) Peer victimization, poor academic achievement, and the link between childhood externalizing and internalizing problems. Child Dev 83:1775–1788. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-8624.2012.01802.x CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Chen X, Huang X, Chang L, Wang L, Li D (2010) Aggression, social competence, and academic achievement in Chinese children: a 5-year longitudinal study. Dev Psychopathol 22:583–592. doi: 10.1017/S0954579410000295 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Duncan GJ, Dowsett CJ, Claessens A, Magnuson K, Huston AC, Klebanov P, Pagani LS, Feinstein L, Engel M, Brooks-Gunn J, Sexton H, Duckworth K, Japel C (2007) School readiness and later achievement. Dev Psychol 43:1428–1446. doi: 10.1037/0012-1649.43.6.1428 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Barker ED, Maughan B (2009) Differentiating early-onset persistent versus childhood-limited conduct problem youth. Am J Psychiatry 166:900–908. doi: 10.1176/appi.ajp.2009.08121770 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    Roisman GI, Monahan KC, Campbell SB, Steinberg L, Cauffman E, Institute of Child Health, Human Development Early Child Care Research Network (2010) Is adolescence-onset antisocial behavior developmentally normative? Dev Psychopathol 22:295–311. doi: 10.1017/S0954579410000076 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Piquero AR, Farrington DP, Nagin DS, Moffitt TE (2010) Trajectories of offending and their relation to life failure in late middle age: findings from the Cambridge Study in Delinquent Development. J Res Crime Delinq 47:151–173. doi: 10.1177/0022427809357713 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. 17.
    Cote SM, Vaillancourt T, LeBlanc JC, Nagin DS, Tremblay RE (2006) The development of physical aggression from toddlerhood to pre-adolescence: a nation wide longitudinal study of Canadian children. J Abnorm Child Psychol 34:71–85. doi: 10.1007/s10802-005-9001-z CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    Tremblay RE, Nagin DS, Seguin JR, Zoccolillo M, Zelazo PD, Boivin M, Perusse D, Japel C (2004) Physical aggression during early childhood: trajectories and predictors. Pediatrics 114:e43–e50CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Moffitt TE, Caspi A, Dickson N, Silva P, Stanton W (2009) Childhood-onset versus adolescent-onset antisocial conduct problems in males: natural history from ages 3 to 18 years. Dev Psychopathol 8:399. doi: 10.1017/S0954579400007161 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. 20.
    Wolpert M, Deighton J, Patalay P, Martin A, Fitzgerald-Yau N, Demir E, Fugard A, Belsky J, Fielding A, Fonagy P, Frederikson N (2011) Me and my school: findings from the national evaluation of targeted mental health in schools. Department for Education, LondonGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    Education Df (2010) Schools, pupils and their characteristics. In: Education Df (ed), LondonGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Deighton J, Tymms P, Vostanis P, Belsky J, Fonagy P, Brown A, Martin A, Patalay P, Wolpert M (2013) The development of a school-based measure of child mental health. J Psychoeduc Assess 31:247–257. doi: 10.1177/0734282912465570 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Patalay P, Deighton J, Fonagy P, Vostanis P, Wolpert M (2014) Clinical validity of the Me and My School questionnaire: a self-report mental health measure for children and adolescents. Child Adolesc Psychiatry Ment Health 8:17. doi: 10.1186/1753-2000-8-17 CrossRefPubMedPubMedCentralGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    UK Government (2015) The national curriculum. https://www.gov.uk/national-curriculum/overview. Accessed 19 June 2015
  25. 25.
    Department for Education. Expected levels of school and college performance (floor standards). http://www.education.gov.uk/schools/performance/fs_13. Accessed 19 June 2015
  26. 26.
    Muthén LK, Muthén BO (2012) Mplus user’s guide. Muthén & Muthén, Los AngelesGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Nagin DS (1999) Analyzing developmental trajectories: a semiparametric, group-based approach. Psychol Methods 4:139–157. doi: 10.1037//1082-989x.4.2.139 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Jung T, Wickrama KAS (2008) An introduction to latent class growth analysis and growth mixture modeling. Soc Personal Psychol Compass 2:302–317. doi: 10.1111/j.1751-9004.2007.00054.x CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. 29.
    StataCorp (2011) Stata Statistical Software: Release 12. StataCorp LP, College StationGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Moffitt TE, Caspi A (2001) Childhood predictors differentiate life-course persistent and adolescence-limited antisocial pathways among males and females. Dev Psychopathol 13:355–375. doi: 10.1017/S0954579401002097 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  31. 31.
    Fink E, Deighton J, Humphrey N, Wolpert M (2015) Assessing the bullying and victimisation experiences of children with special educational needs in mainstream schools: development and validation of the Bullying Behaviour and Experience Scale. Res Dev Disabil 36:611–619. doi: 10.1016/j.ridd.2014.10.048 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. 32.
    Nikapota A, Rutter M (2009) Sociocultural/ethnic groups and psychopathology. In: Rutter M, Bishop DVM, Pine DS, Scott S, Stevenson J, Taylor E, Thapar A (eds) Rutter’s child and adolescent psychiatry. Blackwell Publishing Ltd., Oxford, pp 199–211Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Green H, McGinnity A, Meltzer H, Ford T, Goodman R (2005) Mental health of children and young people in Great Britain, 2004. Palgrave Macmillan, BasingstokeCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. 34.
    De Los Reyes A, Kazdin AE (2005) Informant discrepancies in the assessment of childhood psychopathology: a critical review, theoretical framework, and recommendations for further study. Psychol Bull 131:483–509. doi: 10.1037/0033-2909.131.4.483 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. 35.
    HM Government (2004) Children Act. The Stationery Office, LondonGoogle Scholar
  36. 36.
    Arseneault L, Kim-Cohen J, Taylor A, Caspi A, Moffitt TE (2005) Psychometric evaluation of 5- and 7-year-old children’s self-reports of conduct problems. J Abnorm Child Psychol 33:537–550. doi: 10.1007/s10802-005-6736-5 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  • Praveetha Patalay
    • 1
    • 2
  • Elian Fink
    • 1
  • Peter Fonagy
    • 2
  • Jessica Deighton
    • 1
  1. 1.Evidence Based Practice UnitUniversity College London and the Anna Freud CentreLondonUK
  2. 2.Research Department of Clinical, Educational and Health PsychologyUniversity College LondonLondonUK

Personalised recommendations