Dr James Schaller
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The Course of Child Behavior Disorders

Recently I finished a book on all the common errors in treating out of control youth. Starting with missing the causes, and then the errors in treatment. In my research I saw so clearly that if a child or adolescent has solid and complete medical and mental health care, most kids can be restored and turn around. In my study I came across this abstract. While it does not explore many root causes of ADHD, Conduct disorder and Oppositional disorders, it has some useful observations from a basic psychiatry approach.

Developmental transitions among affective and behavioral disorders in adolescent boys.

BACKGROUND: This paper expands upon recent efforts to advance beyond the examination of concurrent comorbidity between affective and behavioral disorders by testing developmental sequences among disorders. Doing so allows for improved tests of theoriesÉ of Conduct Disorder (CD) and depression. Furthermore, Oppositional Defiant Disorder (ODD) is rarely considered distinctly from CD, minimizing the ability to identify distinct effects among behavioral disorders.

METHODS: This paper used data from the Developmental Trends Study, a clinic-referred cohort of 177 boys, along with their parents, who were assessed regularly using a structured clinical interview and a comprehensive set of other measures. Boys were recruited when they were between the ages of 7 and 12, and were reassessed annually until age 18. Predictive regression models tested the continuities among disorders, with depression, overanxious disorder, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), ODD and CD examined separately as outcomes.

RESULTS: ... [Some findings]

*ADHD was predicted by no other disorders, and exclusively predicted ODD. [It appears to stand alone. It increases the development of Oppositional behavior. Perhaps due to frustration with a world one cannot master].

*CD was predicted only by ODD. [Ongoing Oppositionality and youth frustration can lead to criminal-like behavior]

*ODD was directly predictive of future anxiety and depression...

*Anxiety predicted future depression as well.

*A specific test of the failure model of CD and depression supported that model.

CONCLUSIONS: ODD appears as a pivotal developmental disorder in young males, in that ODD is notably influential in both subsequent behavioral and affective disorders. CD influences later depression only indirectly, through psychosocial impairment. Anxiety precedes depression, and ADHD is not predicted by other disorders.

Burke JD, Loeber R, Lahey BB, Rathouz PJ. J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2005 Nov;46(11):1200-10.

One point that seems to emerge from this point is that youth with anxiety and mood and ADHD disorders need to be fully treated, not partly. Oppositionality needs to be treated very seriously. Youth need to have successful treatment and life experiences.

For more information on causes and cures of child and adolescent behavior trouble, link to the book, When You Are Losing Your Mind Over Your Child: 100 Real Solutions.

Purchase Printed Book at Amazon.com

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