Poirier M, Lemelin J-P, Déry M, Crescenzi O, Temcheff C. (2022). An examination of the relationship between comorbid conduct problems and depressive symptoms and temperament among elementary school children. Child Psychiatry & Human Development.
Although the comorbidity between conduct problems (CP) and depressive symptoms (DS) is associated with a host of negative outcomes, the factors, such as temperament, that might explain this comorbidity in school-aged boys and girls are poorly understood. This study compared elementary school children presenting co-occurring CP and DS to children with DS only, CP only, and those with low-level symptoms on temperament dimensions, and explored the moderating role of child sex in the associations. Participants are 487 children (M = 8.38 years, SD = 0.92, 52.2% girls) divided into four groups (CP + DS, DS only, CP only, control). Findings suggest that boys with CP and DS presented a lower level of fear than boys with DS and boys from the control group. They also presented higher levels of activity than boys with DS. Girls with CP and DS presented lower levels of fear than girls with DS, lower levels of approach and activity than girls with CP, and higher levels of shyness than girls from the control group. These findings suggest that temperament may discriminate children with comorbid CP and DS from those presenting only CP or DS.