In a longitudinal study of a general population sample of 332 Dutch children, Judi Mesman and Hans Koot (2001) tested prediction of DSM-IV diagnoses at ages 10-11 from ages 2-3 CBCL ratings, physical health problems, stressful experiences, and family risk factors. When all the candidate predictors were tested in multiple logistic regressions, ages 2-3 Internalizing scores and physical health problems were the only significant predictors of ages 10-11 internalizing diagnoses (anxiety and mood disorders).
Ages 2-3 Externalizing scores, physical health problems, and stressful life events were the only significant predictors of externalizing diagnoses (ADHD and Oppositional Defiant Disorder). The authors concluded that when preschool child characteristics (i.e., internalizing and externalizing problems and physical health problems) are accounted for, most environmental factors (i.e., harsh parenting, negative maternal attitude, family psychopathology, maternal absence, low SES) do not independently contribute to the prediction of preadolescent psychopathology” (p. 1034).
Reference: Mesman, J., & Koot, H.M. (2001). Early preschool predictors of preadolescent internalizing and externalizing DSM-IV diagnoses.Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 40, 1029-1036.