Update on child and adolescent behavioral problems: Predictors, development and prevention guidelines.

Behavioral problems are a relevant phenomenon in childhood and adolescence, being one of the main reasons for consultation in child and adolescent mental health services. In spite of the fact that in multiple developmental models, as well as in diagnostic classification systems, behavioral problems have been analyzed as unitary categories, there is currently multiple evidence that speaks of their heterogeneity in terms of manifestation, development and etiological mechanisms. Going deeper into this variability will facilitate the understanding of a phenomenon that is no less complex for being well known, and will contribute to the development of prevention strategies to reduce the risk of developing more severe and persistent trajectories. The present symposium aims to contribute to this end, through 3 papers that will provide scientific evidence on the development of behavioral problems, taking into account their heterogeneity (Papers 1-3), and a fourth paper focused on presenting a new model of prevention that starts from the universal to the indicated (Paper 4). Specifically, the first paper will focus on the developmental trajectories of behavioral problems, and their possible co-occurrence with emotional problems, from a gender perspective. The second work will aim at identifying different profiles or variants in early onset conduct problems, analyzing their evolution. The third paper will focus on the analysis of early predictors of conduct problems, including temperamental variables and parental practices, examining possible reciprocal effects. Finally, a prevention proposal based on the Empecemos program in its Universal and Indicated variants will be presented. In short, the aim is to contribute to the advancement of the study of behavioral problems from longitudinal and person-centered research, highlighting its multiple practical implications.


University of Santiago de Compostela. Spain

Laura López-Romero holds a PhD in Clinical Psychology and Psychobiology from the University of Santiago de Compostela (USC), and is a researcher of the Ramón y Cajal program in the Research Unit on Risk Behavior and Developmental Disorders (UNDERISK; USC). Her line of research focuses mainly on the development of behavioral problems, with special interest in the identification of developmental trajectories from childhood to adolescence, taking into account the influence of various individual and contextual factors. Among these, the role of certain temperamental and personality variables such as psychopathic traits (emotional hardness, manipulation, impulsivity) stand out, trying to understand how they are structured and develop throughout childhood, as well as the role of family variables, and more specifically, parental educational styles and practices. This line of research has resulted in an important scientific production, with articles published in national and international impact journals, most of which have focused on the development of behavioral problems and psychopathic personality in childhood and adolescence. In addition, he has presented more than 70 papers in multiple congresses organized by scientific societies of national and international relevance (ISSID, EFCAP, ECP, AITANA, SEIC). He has also participated in several R&D projects funded by public calls for proposals at regional and national level. She is currently developing part of her research work in the longitudinal research project ELISA (Longitudinal Study for a Healthy Childhood), recently initiating a complementary line of research (Socioemotional ELISA) focused on the analysis of emotional processing, recognition and expression in relation to different variants of behavioral problems.