Childhood behaviour problems can predict mental health disorders

Posted on October 11, 2013

Childhood behaviour problems are a robust predictor of future physical and mental health problems, according to a preeminent Australian psychologist.

University of New South Wales Professor of Psychology, and director of the university’s Child Behaviour Research Clinic, Mark Dadds said early intervention and putting in place partnerships with parents could steer many children with early onset conduct problems away from a life of physical and mental health issues.

Professor Dadds, whose current research involves mapping early developmental and intervention pathways with aggressive and antisocial children, said the early signs of future mental health problems could often be found in common childhood non-compliance behaviours ranging from aggression to tantrums, fighting, swearing, stealing and lying.

But Professor Dadds stressed while every child could go through a phase of behaviour problems, it was a major concern in the estimated five per cent of children, especially boys, who have behaviour problems that are interfering with their lives.

Category(s):Child and/or Adolescent Issues, Child Development

Source material from NCAH