J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 1999 Jan;40(1):57-87.


We review recent research on the prevalence, causes, and effects of diagnostic comorbidity among the most common groups of child and adolescent psychiatric disorders; anxiety disorders, depressive disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorders, oppositional defiant and conduct disorders, and substance abuse. A meta-analysis of representative general population studies provides estimates of the strength of associations between pairs of disorders with narrower confidence intervals than have previously been available. Current evidence convincingly eliminates methodological factors as a major cause of comorbidity. We review the implications of comorbidity for understanding the development of psychopathology and for nosology.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Age of Onset
  • Anxiety Disorders / epidemiology
  • Attention Deficit Disorder with Hyperactivity / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Child Psychiatry / trends
  • Child, Preschool
  • Comorbidity
  • Conduct Disorder / epidemiology
  • Depressive Disorder / epidemiology
  • Diagnosis, Dual (Psychiatry)
  • Epidemiologic Methods
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Meta-Analysis as Topic
  • Population Surveillance / methods
  • Statistics as Topic
  • Substance-Related Disorders / diagnosis
  • Substance-Related Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Treatment Outcome