Recent studies have suggested that a general factor underlies associations among diverse aspects of psychopathology. Newmann et al. (2016) tested the presence and heritability of a general psychopathology factor in parent-, teacher-, and self-reports for 2,115 Dutch 6-8-year-olds participating in the longitudinal Generation R (R = Rotterdam) study. The use of parent-, teacher-, and self-reports… Read more »


ADHD is commonly assumed to affect far more boys than girls. However, diagnostic criteria for ADHD may be less able to detect attention problems among girls because some ADHD criteria reflect characteristics that are more annoyingly conspicuous and have higher population base rates among boys than girls. To learn more about ADHD in girls, Stephen… Read more »


It has been found that prenatal stress causes subsequent emotional and behavioral problems in animals, but that maternal grooming can reduce such problems. To explore analogous phenomena in humans, a British team analyzed relations between mothers’ anxiety during pregnancy, their subsequent stroking of their babies, and the children’s problems at age 3.5 years (Pickles et… Read more »


Advances in genetic research reveal that complex human traits are influenced by many genes, each having very small effects. To take account of the multiplicity of genetic influences, statistical models derived from genome-wide association studies (GWAS) are used to aggregate genetic factors associated with particular traits into polygenic scores for those traits. Two such traits… Read more »


Early elevations of Internalizing and Externalizing problems are often found to predict later problems. To determine how early Internalizing/Externalizing problems might be associated with brain development, Muetzel et al. (2018) analyzed CBCL Internalizing and Externalizing scores obtained at ages 6 and 10 in relation to magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) data at ages 8 and 10… Read more »


The term Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) has come into use to reflect findings that autistic features are manifest in degrees and in various combinations, rather than simply being present versus absent. Genetic research has revealed that ASD—like many other complex human traits—is affected by numerous genetic factors, each of which may have very small effects…. Read more »


SSRIs are widely used to treat depression, including during pregnancy. Because SSRIs cross the placenta and the blood-brain barrier, questions arise about possible effects on fetal development. To provide more refined tests of previously reported associations between prenatal SSRI exposure and children’s subsequent functioning, Norwegian researchers compared age 1½-, 3-, and 5-year CBCL/1½-5 scores, as… Read more »


High rates of alcohol consumption have been found among pregnant Australian Aboriginal women. Previous studies had shown elevated ASEBA scores for children with Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD), but Tsang et al (2017) compared parents’ CBCL/6-18 versus teachers’ TRF ratings of Aboriginal children with and without FASD, plus multiple other risk factors. Neither the parents… Read more »


For many reasons, parents of children referred for mental health services may also need help with their own behavioral, emotional, social, or thought problems. To help mental health providers document parental problems, parents can be asked to complete broad spectrum self- and collateral-assessments such as the Adult Self-Report (ASR) and Adult Behavior Checklist (ABCL). To… Read more »