Early Findings of Preventive Child Healthcare Professionals Predict Psychosocial Problems in Preadolescence: The TRAILS Study
Objective To develop and validate a prediction model for psychosocial problems in preadolescence using data on early developmental factors from routine Preventive Child Healthcare (PCH).
Study design The data come from the 1692 participants who take part in the TRacking Adolescents’ IndividualLives Survey, a longitudinal study. Information on early developmental factors (ages 0 to 4 years) was collected fromthe PCH file. Parents complete the Child Behavior Checklist when their child is age 11. To examine the predictivevalue of PCH-registered developmental factors on preadolescent problems, several multiple logistic regression analysis were performed, in a derivation sample (n = 1058). The predictive performance of the models was then assessed with area under the curve (AUC) in a validation sample (n = 643) to evaluate the validity of these models. Results PCH-registered behavioral problems, attention/hyperactivity problems, enuresis, education level of the father, and being male were found to significantly predict externalizing problems (odds ratios [OR] between 1.4 and 3.7). Internalizing problems were predicted by maternal smoking during pregnancy, sleep problems, and being male (ORs between 1.7 and 3.0). The model for externalizing problems had a modest discriminatory power (AUC 0.66, 95% confidence interval 0.59-0.72). However, for internalizing problems the AUC was 0.54 (95% confidence interval 0.47-0.60), indicating poor discriminatory power. Conclusions Findings on early development as registered by PCH are modestly predictive for externalizing problems in preadolescents, but only slightly for internalizing problems.