Concurrent adversities among adolescents with conduct problems: the NAAHS study.


PURPOSE: Several studies have confirmed that maltreatment and abuse in childhood are related to conduct problems. Less is known about such relationships with concurrent adversities in adolescence and, also, when compared with other severe adversities and possible multiple additive effects. METHODS: The study encompassed a community population of 4881 adolescents 15-16 years of age 50.1 % boys and 49.9 % girls. Youth with and without conduct problem scores within the deviant range on the Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) was compared on 12 concurrent adversities. RESULTS: Based on self-reports, 4.4 % of the adolescents had conduct problem scores within the deviant range and more girls (5.1 %) than boys (3.7 %). In the deviant conduct problem group, 65.1 % had experienced two or more concurrent adversities compared with 26.3 % of youths in the non-deviant group (OR 5.23, 95 % CI 3.91-7.01). Likewise, the deviant conduct problem group was from 1.71 to 8.43 times more at the risk of experiencing the different adversities. Parental mental health problems and experiences of violence were multivariately strongest associated with conduct problem scores within the deviant range on the SDQ. A strong multiple additive relationship with adversities was found. CONCLUSIONS: Two-thirds of youth with SDQ conduct problem scores within the deviant range reported two or more concurrent adversities. Clinicians should seek information about kinds and amount of possible traumatic adversities in youth with conduct problems and offer evidence based treatment.