Income gradients within child and adolescent antisocial behaviour

Patrycja J. Piotrowska*, Christopher B. Stride, Barbara Maughan, Robert Goodman, Liz McCaw, Richard Rowe

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Background Low income is a widely studied risk factor for child and adolescent behavioural difficulties. Previous research on this relationship has produced mixed findings. Aims To investigate the level, shape and homogeneity of income gradients in different types of antisocial behaviour. Method A representative sample of 7977 British children and adolescents, aged 5-16 years, was analysed. Hypotheses concerning the shapes and homogeneity of the relationships between family socioeconomic status and multiple antisocial behaviour outcomes, including clinical diagnoses of oppositionaldefiant disorder, conduct disorder and symptom subscales, such as irritability and hurtfulness, were tested by structural equation models. Results Consistent income gradients were demonstrated across all antisocial behaviours studied. Disorder prevalence and mean symptom counts decreased across income quintiles in a nonlinear fashion. Conclusions Our findings emphasise that income gradients are similar across different forms of antisocial behaviour and indicate that income may lead to greater behavioural differences in the midincome range and less variation at lowand highincome extremes.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)385-391
JournalBritish Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2015


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