Correlates of Internalizing and Externalizing Behavior Problems: Perceived Competence, Causal Attributions, and Parental Symptoms

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Behavior Problem, Normal Group, Psychological Symptom, Clinical Group, Consistent Difference

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Young adolescents in the clinical range on internalizing, externalizing, and both internalizing and externalizing behavior problems, as well as youth in the normal range on both types of problems, were identified separately using adolescents' self-reports and mothers' reports of behavior problems. In comparisons of groups identified on the basis of either type of informant, differences among the four groups were found in adolescents' self-perceptions of competence and in their fathers' psychological symptoms. Specifically, normals reported a more positive sense of their social acceptance and their behavioral conduct than all clinical groups, and fathers of adolescents in the clinical range on both internalizing and externalizing problems tended to report more psychological symptoms than the fathers of the normal group. Differences were found in mothers' psychological symptoms only when mothers' reports of adolescents' behavior problems were used to identify the groups. No consistent differences among the groups were found on adolescents' causal attributions for success and failure.

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Citation / Publisher Attribution

Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, v. 19, issue 2, p. 197-218