2017 › Trails



Internalizing and externalizing problems: Bullying development across adolescence, its antecedents, outcomes, and gender-specific patterns

Authors: Tina Kretschmer, René Veenstra, Maja Deković, Albertine J. Oldehinkel

In contrast to victimization, prior research on the antecedents and outcomes of bullying perpetration has provided little conclusive knowledge. Some adolescent bullies may be well adjusted and popular among peers, while other bullies are rejected and lack self-control. There is also great variation in the outcomes, with a number of studies (but not all) showing increased risk for externalizing and internalizing problems. We used a developmental framework and data from 2,230 participants of the Dutch Tracking Adolescents' Individual Lives Survey (TRAILS) to examine bullying perpetration across adolescence, to test the links with various antecedents in preadolescence, and to elucidate the outcomes in early adulthood. Latent growth models indicated significant variance in initial bullying perpetration levels and an overall decrease between pre- and late adolescence. Individual, family, and peer factors were associated with initial levels and partially associated with bullying development over time. Bullying perpetration was linked to later maladjustment and substance use, although only in girls. Finally, bullying perpetration appears to function as an intermediate variable between preadolescent individual, family, and peer risk and substance use more than 10 years later. These results have important implications for understanding the gender-specific nature of bullying perpetration and its outcomes and for demonstrating that bullying carries early risk into adulthood.

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Internalizing and externalizing problems: The Adaptive Calibration Model of stress responsivity: An empirical test in the Tracking Adolescents’ Individual Lives Survey study

Authors: Ellis BJ, Oldehinkel AJ, Nederhof E

The adaptive calibration model (ACM) is a theory of developmental programing focusing on calibration of stress response systems and associated life history strategies to local environmental conditions. In this article, we tested some key predictions of the ACM in a longitudinal study of Dutch adolescent males (11-16 years old; N = 351). Measures of sympathetic, parasympathetic, and adrenocortical activation, reactivity to, and recovery from social-evaluative stress validated the four-pattern taxonomy of the ACM via latent profile analysis, though with some deviations from expected patterns. The physiological profiles generally showed predicted associations with antecedent measures of familial and ecological conditions and life stress; as expected, high- and low-responsivity patterns were found under both low-stress and high-stress family conditions. The four patterns were also differentially associated with aggressive/rule-breaking behavior and withdrawn/depressed behavior. This study provides measured support for key predictions of the ACM and highlights important empirical issues and methodological challenges for future research.

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Internalizing and externalizing problems: Functional outcomes of child and adolescent mental disorders. Current disorder most important but psychiatric history matters as well

Authors: Ormel J., Oerlemans A.M., Raven D., Laceulle O.M., Hartman C.A., Veenstra R., Verhulst F.C., et al.

Background. Various sources indicate that mental disorders are the leading contributor to the burden of disease among youth. An important determinant of functioning is current mental health status. This study investigated whether psychiatric history has additional predictive power when predicting individual differences in functional outcomes. Method. We used data from the Dutch TRAILS study in which 1778 youths were followed from pre-adolescence into young adulthood (retention 80%). Of those, 1584 youths were successfully interviewed, at age 19, using the World Health Organization Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI 3.0) to assess current and past CIDI-DSM-IV mental disorders. Four outcome domains were assessed at the same time: economic (e.g. academic achievement, social benefits, financial difficulties), social (early motherhood, interpersonal conflicts, antisocial behavior), psychological (e.g. suicidality, subjective well-being, loneliness), and health behavior (e.g. smoking, problematic alcohol, cannabis use).  Results. Out of the 19 outcomes, 14 were predicted by both current and past disorders, three only by past disorders (receiving social benefits, psychiatric hospitalization, adolescent motherhood), and two only by current disorder (absenteeism, obesity). Which type of disorders was most important depended on the outcome. Adjusted for current disorder, past internalizing disorders predicted in particular psychological outcomes while externalizing disorders predicted in particular health behavior outcomes. Economic and social outcomes were predicted by a history of co-morbidity of internalizing and externalizing disorder. The risk of problematic cannabis use and alcohol consumption dropped with a history of internalizing disorder. Conclusion.
To understand current functioning, it is necessary to examine both current and past psychiatric status.

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Internalizing and externalizing problems: How Competent are Adolescent Bullying Perpetrators and Victims in Mastering Normative Developmental Tasks in Early Adulthood?

Authors: Tina Kretschmer, René Veenstra, Susan Branje, Sijmen A. Reijneveld, Wim H.J. Meeus, Maja Deković, Hans M. Koot, et al.

A substantive body of literature suggests that those involved in bullying as perpetrators but particularly victims are at greater risk for psychological maladjustment. In comparison, relatively little is known about associations between bullying-victimization and perpetration and mastery of early adult tasks in domains including romantic relationships, education, work, financial competence, and conduct. These links were tested using data from two Dutch cohorts (RADAR-young, n = 497, 43% girls; TRAILS, n = 2230, 51% girls) who reported on victimization and perpetration at age 11 (TRAILS) and 13 (RADAR-young) and mastery of developmental tasks in early adulthood. Unadjusted regression analyses suggested for both cohorts that perpetrators were less likely to abide the law and more likely to smoke. Victims in TRAILS were less competent in the domains of education, work, and finances, and more likely to smoke in RADAR-young. Adjusting for childhood demographics and child intelligence and including psychopathology in the prediction models substantially reduced the strength of associations between bullying involvement and later outcomes in both cohorts; although association were retained between victimization and welfare dependence and perpetration and crime involvement in TRAILS. Parental support did not buffer associations in either sample and neither were gender differences detected. Overall, findings underline that negative outcomes of bullying are not only a concern for victims but also for their perpetrators although involvement in bullying is not a stable predictor of mastery of developmental tasks when childhood demographics, child intelligence, and psychopathology are taken into account.

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