The Use of Multiple Versus Single Assessment Time Points to Improve Screening Accuracy in Identifying Children at Risk for Later Serious Antisocial Behavior

Hannos Petras, Jacquelyn A. Buckley, Jeannie-Marie S Leoutsakos, Elizabeth Stuart, Nicholas S Ialongo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


Guided by Kraemer et al.'s (Psychological Methods, 3:257-271, 1999) framework for measuring the potency of risk factors, we sought to improve on the classification accuracy reported in Petras et al. (Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 43:88-96, 2004a) and Petras et al. (Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry 44:790-797, 2005) by using multiple as opposed to single point in time assessments of early aggressive and disruptive behavior in the classification of youth who would likely benefit from targeted preventive interventions. Different from Petras et al. (2004a, 2005), the outcome used in this study included serious antisocial behavior in young adulthood as well as in adolescence. Among males, the use of multiple time points did not yield greater classification accuracy than the highest single time points, that is, third and fifth grades. For females, although fifth grade represented the best single time point in terms of classification accuracy, no significant association was found between earlier time points and the later outcome, rendering a test of the multiple time points hypothesis moot. The findings presented in this study have strong implications for the design of targeted intervention for violence prevention, indicating that the screening quality based on aggression ratings during the elementary years is rather modest, particularly for females.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)423-436
Number of pages14
JournalPrevention Science
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2013



  • Aggressive behavior
  • Antisocial behavior
  • ROC analysis
  • Screening

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health

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