ABSTRACT

This study attempted to identify preschoolers' developmental trajectories regarding externalizing problems and evaluated the association between trajectory groups and preshoolers' temperaments. We assessed 197 preschoolers, ages 3-5 (102 males, 97 females), in Seoul's metropolitan area 3 times at 6-month intervals. Additionlly, we collected maternal reports of the preschoolers’ behavior problems (K-CBCL) and temperaments (K-JTCI). A Latent Growth Mixture Modeling Analysis with a cohort sequential design revealed 3 distinct trajectories in the preschoolers' development of externalizing behaviors: the “moderate-maintaining”, “low-maintaining”, and “high-increasing” trajectories. We determined novelty seeking and harm avoidance significantly explained the preschoolers' 3 developmental trajectories. High temperament levels in both novelty seeking and harm avoidance tended to differentiate between “low-maintaining” and “high-increasing” groups, whereas only the high harm avoidance temperament was associated with the “moderate-maintaining” trajectory. We discuss the results in terms of the importance of longitudinal research in the development of psychopathology and suggests using Latent Growth Mixture Modeling and temperamental data for early identification of high-risk children.

KEYWORD

externalizing problems, temperament, developmental trajectories, latent growth mixture modeling, cohort sequential design

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