The current study examined the mental health profiles (current and lifetime) of adolescent girls and boys with serious behaviour problems. Age of onset, gender differences and comorbidity patterns were described. Youth in this study had substantial comorbidity, with approximately three quarters of youth with conduct disorder meeting criteria for at least two additional lifetime mental health disorders. Males and females had comparable rates of conduct disorder, ADHD, and substance dependence disorders; however, significantly more females than males met criteria for internalizing disorders (major depressive episode or PTSD). Age of first symptoms started at approximately 11-13 years of age in early adolescence. Approximately two thirds of the youth met criteria for childhood onset conduct disorder and one third met criteria for adolescent onset conduct disorder, with no gender differences. These findings highlight the need for early, comprehensive interventions for youth with serious behaviour disorders.
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