Adult outcomes of childhood dysregulation: a 14-year follow-up study

J Am Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 2010 Nov;49(11):1105-16. doi: 10.1016/j.jaac.2010.08.006.


Objective: Using a general population sample, the adult outcomes of children who presented with severe problems with self-regulation defined as being concurrently rated highly on attention problems, aggressive behavior, and anxious-depression on the Child Behavior Checklist-Dysregulation Profile (CBCL-DP) were examined.

Method: Two thousand seventy-six children from 13 birth cohorts 4 to 16 years of age were drawn from Dutch birth registries in 1983. CBCLs were completed by parents at baseline when children from the different cohorts were 4 to 16 years of age and sampled every 2 years for the next 14 years. At year 14 the CBCL and DSM interview data were collected. Logistic regression was used to compare and contrast outcomes for children with and without dysregulation, as measured by the latent-class-defined CBCL-DP. Sex and age were covaried and concurrent DSM diagnoses were included in regression models.

Results: Presence of childhood CBCL-DP at wave 1 was associated with increased rates of adult anxiety disorders, mood disorders, disruptive behavior disorders, and drug abuse 14 years later. After controlling for co-occurring disorders in adulthood, associations with anxiety and disruptive behavior disorders with the CBCL-DP remained, whereas the others were not significant.

Conclusions: A child reported to be in the CBCL-DP class is at increased risk for problems with regulating affect, behavior, and cognition in adulthood.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder* / diagnosis
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder* / etiology
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder* / psychology
  • Behavioral Symptoms / complications
  • Behavioral Symptoms / diagnosis
  • Behavioral Symptoms / psychology
  • Checklist / instrumentation
  • Child
  • Child Behavior Disorders* / complications
  • Child Behavior Disorders* / diagnosis
  • Child Behavior Disorders* / psychology
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Logistic Models
  • Male
  • Mood Disorders* / diagnosis
  • Mood Disorders* / etiology
  • Mood Disorders* / psychology
  • Netherlands / epidemiology
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / methods
  • Outcome Assessment, Health Care / statistics & numerical data
  • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
  • Substance-Related Disorders* / etiology
  • Substance-Related Disorders* / psychology
  • Young Adult