Objective Children with co-occurring internalizing and externalizing problems have higher levels of impairment and worse outcomes later in life, but it is unclear whether these children can be distinguished validly from children who have problems in a single domain. We used a person-centered statistical approach to examine whether a group of children with co-occurring internalizing and externalizing problems can be identified in a general-population sample of young children. Method This study included a population-based sample of 6,131 children, aged 5 through 7 years. Mothers (92.6%) reported emotional and behavioral problems using the Child Behavior Checklist/1.5-5 (CBCL). A latent profile analysis was performed on the CBCL syndrome scales. Identified classes were compared on early socioeconomic and parental risk factors using multinomial logistic regression. Results We identified 4 classes, as follows: a class scoring high on all internalizing and externalizing scales (1.8%); a class with internalizing problems (5.3%); a class with externalizing problems and emotional reactivity (7.3%); and a class without problems (85.6%). The first class, with co-occurring problems, was associated with higher levels of maternal and paternal affective symptoms and hostility than the other 3 classes. Conclusions The class with co-occurring internalizing and externalizing problems appears to be highly similar to the CBCL Dysregulation Profile described in older children. This empirically based dysregulation profile offers a promise to the study of the development of poor self-regulation.

doi.org/10.1016/j.jaac.2013.05.007, hdl.handle.net/1765/67690
American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Journal
Erasmus MC: University Medical Center Rotterdam

Basten, M.G.J, Althoff, R.R, Tiemeier, H.W, Jaddoe, V.W.V, Hofman, A, Hudziak, J.J, … van der Ende, J. (2013). The dysregulation profile in young children: Empirically defined classes in the generation R study. American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Journal, 52(8). doi:10.1016/j.jaac.2013.05.007