Early-Onset Conduct Problems: Predictions from Daring Temperament and Risk Taking Behavior

Sunhye Bai, Steve S. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Given its considerable public health significance, identifying predictors of early expressions of conduct problems is a priority. We examined the predictive validity of daring, a key dimension of temperament, and the Balloon Analog Risk Task (BART), a laboratory-based measure of risk taking behavior, with respect to two-year change in parent, teacher-, and youth self-reported oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), conduct disorder (CD), and antisocial behavior. At baseline, 150 ethnically diverse 6- to 10-year old (M = 7.8, SD = 1.1; 69.3% male) youth with (n = 82) and without (n = 68) DSM-IV ADHD completed the BART whereas parents rated youth temperament (i.e., daring); parents and teachers also independently rated youth ODD and CD symptoms. Approximately 2 years later, multi-informant ratings of youth ODD, CD, and antisocial behavior were gathered from rating scales and interviews. Whereas risk taking on the BART was unrelated to conduct problems, individual differences in daring prospectively predicted multi-informant rated conduct problems, independent of baseline risk taking, conduct problems, and ADHD diagnostic status. Early differences in the propensity to show positive socio-emotional responses to risky or novel experiences uniquely predicted escalating conduct problems in childhood, even with control of other potent clinical correlates. We consider the role of temperament in the origins and development of significant conduct problems from childhood to adolescence, including possible explanatory mechanisms underlying these predictions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)575-584
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Psychopathology and Behavioral Assessment
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Clinical Psychology


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