School dropout and conduct disorder in Brazilian elementary school students

Silzá Tramontina, Silvia Martins, Mariana B. Michalowski, Carla R. Ketzer, Mariana Eizirik, Joseph Biederman, Luis A. Rohde

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

36 Scopus citations


Objectives: To evaluate the association between DSM-IV conduct disorder (CD) and school dropout in a sample of students from the third and fourth elementary grades at state schools in the capital of the southernmost state of Brazil. Methods: In this case-control study, students that dropped out of schools (n = 44) and a control group who continued attending schools (n = 44) were assessed for CD and other prevalent mental disorders, using the Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for School Age Children, Epidemiological Version (K-SADS-E). Results: The prevalence of DSM-IV CD was significantly higher in the school-dropout group than in control subjects (P < 0.001), both in the entire sample and in a subsample including only subjects under age 12 years (P = 0. 001). Also, the odds ratio (OR)for school dropout was significantly higher in the presence of DSM-IV CD, even after controlling for potential confounding factors (age, estimated IQ, school repetition, family structure, and income) (P < 0.01). Conclusion: Our results extend to children and young adolescents previous findings from studies of older adolescents, suggesting an association between school dropout and CD.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)941-947
Number of pages7
JournalCanadian Journal of Psychiatry
Issue number10
StatePublished - 2001
Externally publishedYes


  • Absenteeism
  • Conduct disorder
  • School dropout


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