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Longitudinal associations between positive attributes and psychopathology and their interactive effects on educational outcomes

Romani-Sponchiado, Aline, Vidal-Ribas, Pablo, Bressan, Rodrigo Affonseca, de Jesus Mari, Jair, Miguel, Eurípedes Constantino, Gadelha, Ary, Rohde, Luis Augusto Paim, Evans-Lacko, Sara ORCID: 0000-0003-4691-2630, Salum, Giovanni Abrahão and Hoffmann, Mauricio Scopel (2021) Longitudinal associations between positive attributes and psychopathology and their interactive effects on educational outcomes. European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. ISSN 1018-8827

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Identification Number: 10.1007/s00787-021-01882-8


Psychopathology is associated with impaired learning and early termination of schooling, whereas positive attributes are associated with better educational outcomes. However, it is important to understand if and how psychopathology and positive attributes longitudinally impact each other so we could shed light on where to intervene to promote educational outcomes through these constructs. A large prospective school-based community cohort of youths (5–15 years of age, 45% female) were assessed and followed up for 3 years (n = 2010; 80% retention). We assessed the longitudinal impact of positive attributes (Youth Strength Inventory) and psychopathology (bifactor model of Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire) using a cross-lagged panel model. We also used generalized mixed effects models to investigate how these both constructs predict school dropout and literacy, adjusting for confounders and testing their interaction. Positive attributes negatively predicted, and were negatively predicted by, the general factor of psychopathology and conduct problems in the cross-lagged panel model. Positive attributes (OR = 0.57, 95% CI [0.44, 0.73], p < 0.001) and specific conduct symptoms (OR = 2.33, 95% CI [1.64, 3.33], p < 0.001) predicted school dropout, whereas the general factor of psychopathology predicted lower literacy ability (β = − 0.08, 95% CI [− 0.11, − 0.05], p < 0.001). However, the protective association of positive attributes on school dropout decreases as the general factor of psychopathology increases. These findings provide new evidence that positive attributes and psychopathology mutually influence each other over development and have interactive effects on educational outcomes.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2021 Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature.
Divisions: Personal Social Services Research Unit
Subjects: R Medicine > RJ Pediatrics > RJ101 Child Health. Child health services
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education
Date Deposited: 06 Oct 2021 11:48
Last Modified: 18 Dec 2021 01:03

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