Testing a dual cascade model linking competence and symptoms over 20 years from childhood to adulthood

Jelena Obradović, Keith B. Burt, Ann S. Masten

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118 Scopus citations


This study examined the unique longitudinal effects linking academic competence, social competence, and internalizing symptoms from childhood to adulthood. A multimethod and multi-informant approach was used to assess psychopathology and competence in 205 participants during four developmental periods. Social competence in childhood had a cascading effect on internalizing symptoms in adolescence, whereas social and academic competence in emerging adulthood had dual cascading effects on internalizing in young adulthood. Results suggested a developmental cascade beginning with externalizing symptoms in childhood, which contributed to lower academic achievement in adolescence, which in turn influenced social competence in emerging adulthood and internalizing symptoms in young adulthood.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)90-102
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2010

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This article is based on data collected as part of the Project Competence longitudinal study, which has been supported through grants to Ann Masten, Auke Tellegen, and Norman Garmezy from the William T. Grant Foundation, the National Science Foundation (SBR-9729111), the National Institute of Mental Health (R01MH33222), and the University of Minnesota. Preparation of this article was supported by a Killam Postdoctoral Research Fellowship from the University of British Columbia to Dr. Obradović. We express our deep appreciation to the participants for their many contributions to this endeavor over more than 20 years.


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