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Stability and Persistence of the Dysregulation Profile in a Followup Study in a Clinical Sample of Children and Adolescents

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Background: A considerable proportion of children and adolescents attending mental health services suffer from severe affective and behavioral dysregulation. The Dysregulation Profile, which was identified based on certain subscales of the Child Behavior Checklist and later, also in certain subscales of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, has been defined as a marker of a broader form of severe psychopathology. DP has been described as a theoretical construct and research data have been provided to consolidate its operational description. However, its stability, which is one of the fundamental aspects for operational definition of a construct, remains unexplored.

Methods: A retrospective six-month follow-up study was conducted in order to clarify stability and persistence of the Dysregulation Profile, assessed with the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, in a clinical sample of 299 children and adolescents.

Results: The temporal consistency of the Dysregulation Profile, assessed with the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, found in this sample was fair. Test-retest reliability of Dysregulation Profile, assessed with Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, over six months was moderate. There were no differences between groups by sex or age.

Conclusion: Results support the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire-Dysregulation Profile as a useful tool to assess Dysregulation Profile, with a moderate stability and fair persistence, in line with previous literature. Further investigation is needed in order to clarify risk and maintenance factors.
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Keywords: Dysregulation profile; adolescent; follow-up; persistence; stability

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: July 1, 2017

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  • Adolescent Psychiatry publishes reports of original research, critical reviews of topics relevant to practitioners, clinical observations with analysis and discussion, analysis of philosophical, ethical or social aspects of the fields of psychiatry and mental health, case reports with discussions, letters, and position papers. Adolescent Psychiatry, a peer-reviewed journal, and the official journal of the American Society for Adolescent Psychiatry, aims to provide mental health professionals who work with adolescents with current information relevant to the diagnosis and treatment of psychiatric disorders in adolescence.
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