The childhoods of multiple problem adolescents: a 15-year longitudinal study

J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 1994 Sep;35(6):1123-40. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.1994.tb01813.x.


This paper examines the life history of a small group of adolescents (3%) who were identified during the course of a longitudinal study of a birth cohort of New Zealand children as displaying multiple problem behaviours at the age of 15 years. This group was characterised by conduct disorder, police contact, substance abuse behaviours, early onset sexual activity, suicidal ideation, mood disorders and lowered self esteem. Statistical biographies of this group of young people showed that many were the offspring of seriously disadvantaged, dysfunctional and disorganised home environments. The implications of these findings for the understanding and treatment of multiple problem behaviours in adolescence are discussed.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child Behavior Disorders / diagnosis
  • Child Behavior Disorders / psychology
  • Child of Impaired Parents / psychology*
  • Child, Preschool
  • Depressive Disorder / diagnosis
  • Depressive Disorder / psychology
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Juvenile Delinquency / psychology*
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Male
  • New Zealand
  • Parenting / psychology
  • Personality Development*
  • Psychosocial Deprivation*
  • Risk Factors
  • Self Concept
  • Substance-Related Disorders / diagnosis
  • Substance-Related Disorders / psychology
  • Suicide / psychology