Administered in: College of Education
The purpose of this project is to analyze secondary data from two extant longitudinal studies to examine the mechanisms of the development of comorbidity between externalizing and internalizing disorders across the school-age period (5-6 to 12-13 years of age). Although externalizing and internalizing disorders are distinct forms of behavioral maladjustment, rates of comorbidity are substantial, especially among high-risk populations. It remains unclear, however, for whom, how, and why externalizing and internalizing disorders co-develop, how these two domains of behavioral disorders and other domains of development (e.g., academic, cognitive, social) transact over time, and whether these transactional processes operate differently across developmental stages and across population subgroups (e.g., gender, race/ethnicity). By evaluating competing theoretical hypotheses regarding the mechanisms of externalizing/internalizing comorbidity, the project aims to advance the field’s limited knowledge base and help inform intervention efforts to serve children with or at risk for multiple functional difficulties or disorders.