Background: This study examined risk factors for the development of psychopathology in children with intellectual disability (ID) in the developmental, biological, family and social-ecological domains. Methods: A population sample of 968 children, aged 6-18, enrolled in special schools in the Netherlands for educable and trainable ID were assessed at Time 1. A random 58% were re-contacted about 1 year later, resulting in a sample of 474 at Time 2. Results: Psychopathology was highly consistent over 1 year. Risk factors jointly accounted for significant, but small, portions of the variance in development of psychopathology. Child physical symptoms, family dysfunction and previous parental mental health treatment reported at Time 1 were uniquely associated with new psychopathology at Time 2. Conclusions: Prevention and early intervention research to find ways to reduce the incidence of psychopathology, possibly targeting family functioning, appear important.

Children, Intellectual disability, Longitudinal design, Psychopathology, Risk factors,
Journal of Intellectual Disability Research
Pediatric Psychiatry

Wallander, J.L, Dekker, M.C, & Koot, J.M. (2006). Risk factors for psychopathology in children with intellectual disability: A prospective longitudinal population-based study. Journal of Intellectual Disability Research, 50(4), 259–268. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2788.2005.00792.x