Background: Adolescent mental health problems have lasting impacts on health and social functioning later in life. Evidence to date mostly comes from studies of specific diagnostic categories/dimensions, but hierarchical models can elucidate associations with general as well as specific dimensions of psychopathology. We provide evidence on long-term outcomes of general and specific dimensions of adolescent psychopathology using both parent and teacher reports. Methods: Parents and teachers from the Isle of Wight study completed Rutter behaviour scales when participants were 14–15 years old (n = 2,275), assessing conduct, emotional and hyperactivity problems. Metric-invariant bifactor models for parents and teachers were used to test domain-specific and domain-general associations with 26 self-reported psychosocial outcomes at mid-life (age 44–45 years, n = 1,423). Analyses examined the individual and joint contributions of parent and teacher reports of adolescent psychopathology. All analyses were adjusted for covariates (gender, IQ and family social class) and weighted to adjust for the probability of nonresponse. Results: Parent- and teacher-reported general factors of psychopathology (GFP) were associated with 15 and 12 outcomes, respectively, across the socioeconomic, relationship, health and personality domains, along with an index of social exclusion. Nine outcomes were associated with both parent- and teacher-reported GFP, with no differences in the strength of the associations across reporters. Teacher-reported specific factors (conduct, emotional and hyperactivity) were associated with 21 outcomes, and parent-reported specific factors were associated with seven. Five outcomes were associated with the same specific factors from both reporters; only one showed reporter differences in the strength of the associations. Conclusions: These findings confirm the relevance of the GFP and the utility of teacher as well as parent reports of adolescent mental health in predicting psychosocial outcomes later in the life course.
|Journal||Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry and Allied Disciplines|
|Early online date||24 Sept 2022|
|Publication status||E-pub ahead of print - 24 Sept 2022|
- life chances
- Mental health
- Rutter scale