Child Psychiatry and Human Development

, Volume 40, Issue 2, pp 269–285 | Cite as

Personality and Psychopathology in Flemish Referred Children: Five Perspectives of Continuity

  • Marleen De Bolle
  • Barbara De Clercq
  • Karla Van Leeuwen
  • Mieke Decuyper
  • Yves Rosseel
  • Filip De Fruyt


The present study investigates five types of continuity of personality and internalizing and externalizing problems (i.e., structural, differential, mean-level, individual-level and ipsative continuity) in a sample of referred children and adolescents (N = 114) with a broad variety of psychological problems. Mothers were administered a child personality and psychopathology measure, i.e., the Hierarchical Personality Inventory for Children [Handleiding hiërarchische persoonlijkheidsvragenlijst voor kinderen (manual hierarchical personality inventory for children). Ghent University, Department of Developmental, Personality, and Social Psychology, Ghent, 2005] and the Child Behavior Checklist [Handleiding voor de cbcl/4–18: (Manual of the CBCL/4–18), Afdeling Kinder- en Jeugdpsychiatrie. Erasmus Universiteit Rotterdam, The Netherlands, 1996] at two measurement occasions, with a 26-months interval. Personality was substantially stable, paralleling findings for non-referred peers. Internalizing and Externalizing Problem Behavior were almost as stable as personality traits, suggesting that childhood psychopathology is more persistent than generally assumed. Strengths and limitations of the present study and implications for further research are discussed.


Psychopathology Problem behavior Personality Continuity Change 


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Marleen De Bolle benefited from a BOF-grant B/06610/01 provided by Ghent University during the preparation of this manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Marleen De Bolle
    • 1
  • Barbara De Clercq
    • 1
  • Karla Van Leeuwen
    • 2
  • Mieke Decuyper
    • 1
  • Yves Rosseel
    • 3
  • Filip De Fruyt
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Developmental, Personality and Social Psychology, Faculty of Psychology and Educational SciencesGhent UniversityGhentBelgium
  2. 2.Centre for Parenting, Child Welfare and DisabilitiesLeuvenBelgium
  3. 3.Department of Data Analysis, Faculty of Psychology and Educational SciencesGhent UniversityGhentBelgium

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