Socioeconomic changes and adolescent psychopathology in a Brazilian birth cohort study

Luciana Anselmi, Ana M.B. Menezes, Pedro C. Hallal, Fernando Wehrmeister, Helen Gonçalves, Fernando C. Barros, Joseph Murray, Luis A. Rohde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Purpose: To investigate the effects of socioeconomic changes from birth to 11 years of life on emotional, conduct, and attentional/hyperactivity problems in 15-year-old adolescents, from the 1993 Pelotas (Brazil) birth cohort study. Methods: The original cohort was composed of 5,249 hospital-born children whose mothers answered a questionnaire. We conducted interviews with 87.5% and 85.7% of the original cohort in 2004-2005 and 2008, respectively. We divided family income changes into nine possible categories based on two assessment points (birth and 11 years of age) and three income levels. To assess the psychopathology of the adolescents at 15 years of age, 4,423 mothers answered the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. Results: Adolescents who were always poor or who became poor between birth and 11 years of age had greater conduct problems at 15 years of age. There was no consistent association between poverty and emotional and attentional/hyperactivity problems. Conclusions: The effects of income change were more specific to conduct problems than to emotional and attentional/hyperactivity problems, similar to what has been previously described in developed countries.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)S5-S10
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue numberSUPPL. 6
StatePublished - Dec 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder adolescence
  • Conduct disorders
  • Emotional disorders
  • Income
  • Poverty
  • Psychopathology
  • Socioeconomic status

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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