Prevalence and prediction of disorders in early childhood: A community study

Janet H. Roth, Mark R. Dadds*, John McAloon, Adam Guastella, Carl F. Weems

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


This article examines the prevalence and prediction of internalising and externalising disorders from temperament and parenting in children aged 4 to 6 years (N = 491). Children were assessed via parent and teacher reports over 14 months and clinical interviews with parents were included at follow-up, along with parent and teacher reports of behavioural and emotional difficulties. Prevalence rates for internalising disorders (8.7%) were higher than for externalising disorders (5.8%), and internalising rates were similar to that found for older children in the same city. Accuracy of prediction of disorders, as well as overall behavioural and emotional difficulties, was low to moderate, and externalising problems were better predicted than internalising problems. The results highlight that while psychological disorders can be predicted from measures of temperament in infancy, the accuracy is too low to recommend these children receive selective prevention and treatment programs.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-228
Number of pages14
JournalBehaviour Change
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes


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