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Title: Outcomes, developmental processes and protective factors in different conduct problems trajectories
Author: Bevilacqua, Leonardo
ISNI:       0000 0004 8507 9861
Awarding Body: UCL (University College London)
Current Institution: University College London (University of London)
Date of Award: 2019
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Conduct problems in youth are very common and have high financial and societal costs. Conduct problems can have different age of onset and developmental course and often predict later adjustment problems. In this work, I investigated the psychosocial outcomes of different trajectories of conduct problems. Then, I examined the developmental processes underlying poor academic achievement, a common risk factor in youth with conduct problems. To do this, I tested a developmental cascade model in two early-onset subgroups of conduct problems individuals. I have also investigated whether school experience could mediate the association between conduct problems trajectories and not being in education, employment or training (NEET) at age 20. Finally, I explored a number of school-level factors that could predict the development of conduct problems in early to mid-adolescence. I used several statistical methods including meta-analysis, structural equation modelling, counterfactual-based mediation analysis and longitudinal latent growth curve modelling. I have shown that an early-onset persistent pattern of conduct problems is associated with a greater risk of poor psychosocial outcomes compared to other trajectories (adolescent-onset and childhood-limited). The developmental cascade model I tested showed discrete differences across the two groups of early-onset conduct problems individuals, but I did not find an indirect effect carried through prenatal and postnatal risk factors that could explain poor academic achievement in adolescence. In terms of mediating factors, I found that positive school experience decreased the risk in early-onset persistent youth to become NEET in early adulthood. Finally, a positive school climate was associated with a lower risk of exhibiting persistent patterns of conduct problems in adolescence, in both males and females. These results shed light on outcomes, processes and mediating factors that have the potential to change the development of conduct problems across life and may guide prevention and intervention programs, particularly within schools.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available