Waxing and waning in concert: dynamic comorbidity of conduct disorder with other disruptive and emotional problems over 7 years among clinic-referred boys

J Abnorm Psychol. 2002 Nov;111(4):556-67. doi: 10.1037//0021-843x.111.4.556.


Six waves of structured diagnostic assessments were conducted of 168 clinic-referred 7- to 12-year-olds, over 7 years. Wave-to-wave changes in the number of conduct disorder (CD) behaviors were paralleled by correlated changes in the numbers of symptoms of oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression, and anxiety. In addition, CD in Wave 1 predicted levels of ODD, ADHD, depression, and anxiety in later waves when initial levels of those symptoms were controlled, but only ODD in Wave 1 predicted CD in later waves when initial CD levels were controlled. These findings indicate a striking degree of dynamic comorbidity between CD and other types of psychopathology and provide an initial empirical framework for needed developmental models of comorbidity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Affective Symptoms / psychology*
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Anxiety Disorders / psychology*
  • Attention Deficit and Disruptive Behavior Disorders / psychology*
  • Child
  • Comorbidity
  • Conduct Disorder / psychology*
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Health Services
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Referral and Consultation
  • Time Factors