Current Content
Volume 34, Number 1
January/February 2008

Predicting School-Age Behavior Problems: The Role of Early Childhood Risk Factors
Tracy Magee
Sister Callista Roy

Purpose. To examine the impact of early childhood risk factors on school-age child behavior. Identifying the relationships of risk factors in early childhood contributing to behavior problems in school age-children can effectively target interventions during pediatric primary care encounters.
Methods. An 8-year longitudinal, retrospective secondary analysis using a sample of children (N = 721) from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 (NLSY79).
Results. A logistic regression model prediction was significant (R2 = 0.62, p < .001) though modest with overall behavior problems predicted at 62.5% with sensitivity problems. Adjusted odds ratios indicate a young boy with a difficult temperament was two times more likely to have behavior problems at school age. The same boy with a less able mother was eight times more likely to have problem behavior at school age.
Implications for practice. There are significant risk factors in early childhood that predict school-age behavior problems even in a non-clinical sample. All families deserve ongoing behavioral screening and assessment.