Internalizing Problems as a Predictor of Change in Externalizing Problems in At-Risk Youth

Matthew Jarrett, Salma Siddiqui, John Lochman, Lixin Qu
2013 Journal of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology  
Intervention and prevention programs for children with externalizing problems frequently involve children with co-occurring internalizing problems. Little is known about how these co-occurring internalizing problems predict outcomes, particularly for programs involving cognitive-behavioral strategies. The current study examined how a set of child-related risk factors (including anxiety and depressive symptoms) predicted change in parent-and teacher-reported externalizing problems following a
more » ... lems following a school-based preventative intervention for children at risk for externalizing problems. Participants included 112 preadolescent children (ages 9-12) who participated in a study designed to evaluate the efficacy of the Coping Power Program (Lochman & Wells, 2004) . Participants included 81 boys (68%) who were primarily African American (69%) or Caucasian (30%). Regression analyses were conducted to examine predictors of change in parent-and teacher-reported externalizing problems on the Behavior Assessment System for Children (Reynolds & Kamphaus, 1992) . Results indicated that greater child depression symptoms (as reported by parent or teacher) were associated with a larger reduction in externalizing behavior problems based on parent or teacher report. This effect was found in both the parent and teacher models and held after controlling for a number of child-oriented baseline variables including baseline aggression. Future research studies should examine whether co-occurring symptoms of depression relate to enhanced changes in externalizing problems following intervention for externalizing problems, particularly when cognitive-behavioral interventions are utilized. In addition, it will be important for studies to examine such effects relative to a control group and=or alternative treatment conditions and to further explore possible mechanisms of change.
doi:10.1080/15374416.2013.764823 pmid:23402743 fatcat:5b7dzhyfd5ha5hp3ay6zlnzfyq