ENDOCRINE CHANGES AND TREATMENT OF CONDUCT PROBLEMS

Project: Research project

Project Details

Description

Antisocial behavior in youth is a growing problem in our society.
Childhood antisocial behaviors (e.g., conduct problems) can become chronic as
reflected in delinquency, adult interpersonal and domestic violence and other
criminal behavior. A pattern of chronic child, adolescent and adult antisocial
behavior weighs heavily on society with respect to the high cost of treatment,
pain and suffering for the victims and their family, and even loss of lives.
The majority of studies of antisocial behavior have focused on individual
psychological factors, or peer and neighborhood influence. Few studies
considered physiological aspects of antisocial behavior in children, in spite
of the growing evidence linking physiological processes and crime in adults.
The aims of the study are: (1) To examine the relationship between gonadal and
adrenal hormone concentrations and conduct problems in children, (2) To examine
whether gonadal and adrenal hormones moderate the effect of treatment on
conduct problems, and (3) To examine whether treatment of conduct problems
alters gonadal and adrenal hormones of children with conduct problems. In
response to the NINR RFA, "Clinical Trials: Collaborations for Nursing
Research," encouraging a link with an existing clinical trial, we will take
advantage of a unique opportunity to assess the effect of a behavior
intervention on hormone concentrations in a treatment trial to reduce severe
conduct problems in sample of 6 to 11-year-old boys and girls (N = 158). There
is random assignment to treatment conducted in either the experimental (EXP)
community setting (home, school, neighborhood) or the clinic (CLIN). Services
are provided by trained clinicians who administer specialized treatment
protocols that address problems across participants (child, parent, teachers)
and contexts (home, community). A comparison group for treatment as usual (TAU)
in a community mental health center also will be included. Our proposed
methodology of adding hormones enhances the field by addressing limitations of
the few previous studies of children and conduct problems utilizing
physiological measures. We anticipate that findings will contribute to further
understanding of the neurophysiology of conduct problems in youth. The project
is unique in that it is longitudinal and it examines for the first time, the
effect of behavioral interventions on physiological processes.
StatusFinished
Effective start/end date9/30/008/31/01

Funding

  • National Institute of Nursing Research: $285,852.00

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