Psychopathology and Age at Onset of Conduct Problems in Juvenile Delinquents
J Clin Psychiatry 2003;64:913-920
© Copyright 2014 Physicians Postgraduate Press, Inc.
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Background: This study aimed to assess
psychopathology among incarcerated Russian juvenile delinquents
in relation to the onset of conduct problems.
Method: 358 male juvenile delinquents
were interviewed from January to September 1999, using the
Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for School-Age
Children-Present and Lifetime Version. Early behavior problems,
current antisocial behavior, and psychopathology were also
assessed through self-reports. The presence of conduct disorder
(CD) and other diagnoses was determined according to DSM-IV
Results: 73.2% of the incarcerated youths
met criteria for CD. 23.5% of the total sample reported at least
1 criterion for CD being present before the age of 10 years. All
participants from this early-onset group fulfilled the criteria
for CD. This group also had significantly higher rates of
psychopathology, and particularly of externalizing behaviors, as
compared with youths whose conduct problems began at or after the
age of 10 years.
Conclusion: Poor psychosocial adaptation
and future prognosis in juvenile delinquents with early-onset
conduct problems may be related to their greater degree of
psychiatric disturbance compared with later-onset delinquent
youths. Need for psychiatric treatment should be carefully
considered in prevention and rehabilitation efforts for troubled