Journal of Youth and Adolescence

, Volume 37, Issue 7, pp 821–829 | Cite as

The Relation of Antisocial Behavior Patterns and Changes in Internalizing Symptoms for a Sample of Inner-city Youth: Comorbidity within a Developmental Framework

  • Ashli J. Sheidow
  • Martha K. Strachan
  • Joel A. Minden
  • David B. Henry
  • Patrick H. Tolan
  • Deborah Gorman-Smith
Empirical Research


Research examining the relationship between internalizing symptoms and antisocial behaviors has generally been cross-sectional in design. Thus, although extant data have substantiated a strong correlation between internalizing symptoms and antisocial behaviors, few studies have focused on describing the nature of the co-occurrence over time. This study examined the relation between growth in internalizing symptoms and longitudinal patterns of antisocial behavior in a sample of 283 inner-city males and their caregivers assessed as part of a longitudinal developmental risk study. Participants were assessed annually in four waves. Non-offenders and escalating offenders had lower levels of internalizing problems at wave 1 than did chronic minor and serious-chronic-violent offenders. Results revealed a developmental trend of decreasing internalizing problems across study years for most participants, as would be expected, with adolescents participating in serious, chronic, and violent patterns of antisocial behavior displaying greater internalizing problems than those participating in stable patterns of less serious or no antisocial behavior. Further, when there was escalation of seriousness and frequency of antisocial behavior, there also was increased internalizing problems relative to non-escalating juveniles. Results are discussed in the context of developmental psychopathology.


Antisocial behaviors Internalizing Comorbidity Longitudinal Developmental psychopathology 


  1. Achenbach, T. M. (1991). Integrative guide for the 1991 CBCL/4-18, YSR, and TRF profiles. Burlington, VT: University of Vermont Department of Psychiatry.Google Scholar
  2. Anderson, J. C., Williams, S. W., McGee, R., & Silva, P. H. (1987). DSM-III disorders in preadolescent children: Prevalence in a large sample from the general population. Archives of General Psychiatry, 44, 69–76.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Angold, A., Costello, E., & Erklani, A. (1999). Comorbidity. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 40, 57–87.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. Angold, A., Erkanli, A., Loeber, R., Costello, E. J., Van Kammen, W., & Stouthamer-Loeber, M. (1996). Disappearing depression in a population sample of boys. Journal of Emotional and Behavioral Disorders, 4, 95–104.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Armistead, L., Wierson, M., Forehand, R., & Frame, C. (1992). Psychopathology in incarcerated juvenile delinquents: Does it extend beyond externalizing problems? Adolescence, 27, 309–314.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. Caron, C., & Rutter, M. (1991). Co-morbidity in child psychopathology: Concepts, issues, and research strategies. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 132, 1063–1080.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Cicchetti, D., & Cohen, D. (1995). Developmental psychopathology: Vol. 2: Risk, disorder, and adaptation. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  8. Cicchetti, D., & Richters, J. E. (1993). Developmental considerations in the investigation of conduct disorder. Development and Psychopathology, 5, 331–344.Google Scholar
  9. Cicchetti, D., & Rogosch, F. A. (2002). A developmental psychopathology perspective on adolescence. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 70, 6–20.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cicchetti, D., & Sroufe, L. A. (2000). The past as a prologue to the future: The times they’ve been a changin’. Development and Psychopathology, 12, 255–264.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Elliott, D. S., Dunford, F. W., & Huizinga, D. (1987). The identification and prediction of career offenders utilizing self-reported and official data. In J. D. Burchard & S. N. Burchard (Eds.), Prevention of delinquent behavior. Vermont conference on the primary prevention of psychopathology, Vol. 10 (pp 90–121). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  12. Elliot, D. S. (1994). Serious violent offenders: Onset, developmental course, and termination. The American Society of Crimonology 1993 Presidential Address. Criminology, 32, 1–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Eme, R. F. (1992). Selective female affliction in the developmental disorders of childhood: A literature review. Journal of Clinical Child Psychology, 21, 354–364.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Feehan, M., McGee, R., Raja, S. N., & Williams, S. M. (1994). DSM-III-R disorders in New Zealand 18-year-olds. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 28, 87–99.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Fergusson, D., Lynskey, M., & Horwood, L. J. (1996). Origins of comorbidity between conduct and affective disorders. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 35, 451–460.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Gibbons, R. D., Hedeker, D., Elkin, I., Waternaux, C., Kraemer, H. C., Greenhouse, J. B., Shea, M. T., Imber, S. D., Sotsky, S. M., & Watkins, J. T. (1993). Some conceptual and statistical issues in analysis of longitudinal psychiatric data: Application to the NIMH treatment of depression collaborative research program dataset. Archives of General Psychiatry, 50, 739–750.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  17. Gorman-Smith, D., Tolan, P. H., Loeber, R., & Henry, D. B. (1998). Relation of family problems to patterns of delinquent involvement among urban youth. Journal of Abnormnal Child Psychology, 26, 319–333.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. Loeber, R., & Dishion, T. (1983). Early predictors of male delinquency: A review. Psychological Bulletin, 94, 68–99.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Loeber, R., & Farrington, D. P. (1998). Serious and violent juvenile offender: Risk factors and successful interventions. Thousand Oaks CA: Sage.Google Scholar
  20. Loeber, R., & Keenan, K. (1994). Interaction between conduct disorder and its comorbid conditions: Effects of gender and age. Clinical Psychology Review, 14, 497–523.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Loeber, R., & Stouthamer-Loeber, M. (1986). Family factors as correlates and predictors of juvenile conduct problems and delinquency. In M. Tonry & N. Morris (Eds.), Crime and justice (pp. 325–416). Chicago: University of Chicago Press.Google Scholar
  22. Loeber, R., Stouthamer-Loeber, M., Van Kammen, W. B., & Farrington, D. P. (1991). Initiation, escalation and desistance in juvenile offending and their correlates. Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology, 82, 36–82.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. McGee, R., Feehan, M., Williams, S., Partridge, F., Silva, P. A., & Kelly, J. (1990). DSM-III disorders in a large sample of adolescents. Journal of the American Academy of Child Adolescent Psychiatry, 29, 611–619.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Moffit, T. E. (1993). Adolescence-limited and life-course persistent antisocial behavior: A developmental taxonomy. Psychology Review, 100, 674–701.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. O’Connor, T., McGuire, S., Reiss, D., Hetherington, E. M., & Plomin, R. (1998). Co-occurrence of depressive symptoms and antisocial behavior in adolescence: A common genetic liability. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 107, 27–37.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Patchin, J., Huebner, B., McCluskey, J., Varano, S., & Bynum, T. (2006). Exposure to community violence and childhood delinquency. Crime and Delinquency, 52, 307–332.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Rohde, P., Lewinsohn, P. M., & Seeley, J. R. (1991). Comorbidity of unipolar depression: II. Comorbidity with other mental disorders in adolescents and adults. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 100, 214–222.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. SAS Institute. (1998). SAS/STAT user’s guide, version 7. Cary, NC: SAS Institute.Google Scholar
  29. Schafer, J. L., & Graham, J. W. (2002). Missing data: Our view of the state of the art. Psychological Methods, 7, 147–177.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Sheldrick, R., Kendall, P., & Heimberg, R. (2001). The clinical significance of treatments: A comparison of three treatments for conduct-disordered children. Clinical Psychology: Science and Practice, 8, 418–430.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  31. Silverthorn, P., & Frick, P. (1999). Developmental pathways to antisocial behavior: The delayed-onset pathway in girls. Development and Psychopathology, 11, 101–126.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Simic, M., & Fombonne, E. (2001). Depressive conduct disorder: Symptom patterns and correlates in referred children and adolescents. Journal of Affective Disorders, 62, 175–185.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Singer, J. D. (1998). Using SAS PROC MIXED to fit multilevel models, hierarchical models, and individual growth models. Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics, 24, 323–355.Google Scholar
  34. Taylor, D. C., & Ounsted, C. (1972). The nature of gender differences explored through the ontogenetic and analysis of sex ratios in disease. In C. Ounsted & D. C. Taylor (Eds.), Gender differences: Their ontogeny and significance (pp. 215–240). Edinburgh: Churchill Livingstone.Google Scholar
  35. Teplin, L., Abram, K., McClelland, G., Dulcan, M., & Mericle, A. (2002). Psychiatric disorders in youth in juvenile detection. Archives of General Psychology., 59, 1133–1143.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  36. Tolan, P. H., Gorman-Smith, D., & Henry, D. B. (2003). The developmental-ecology of urban males’ youth violence. Developmental Psychology, 39, 274–291.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ashli J. Sheidow
    • 1
    • 2
  • Martha K. Strachan
    • 3
  • Joel A. Minden
    • 4
  • David B. Henry
    • 5
  • Patrick H. Tolan
    • 5
  • Deborah Gorman-Smith
    • 5
  1. 1.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesMedical University of South CarolinaCharlestonUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesMedical University of South CarolinaCharlestonUSA
  3. 3.National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center (NCVC)Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC)CharlestonUSA
  4. 4.California State UniversityChicoUSA
  5. 5.Institute for Juvenile Research, Department of PsychiatryUniversity of Illinois at ChicagoChicagoUSA

Personalised recommendations