A1 Journal article – refereed

The long-term cost of childhood conduct problems: Finnish Nationwide 1981 Birth Cohort Study

List of Authors: Rissanen E, Kuvaja-Kollner V, Elonheimo H, Sillanmaki L, Sourander A, Kankaanpaa E

Publisher: WILEY

Publication year: 2021

Journal: Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry


Journal acronym: J CHILD PSYCHOL PSYC

Number of pages: 10

ISSN: 0021-9630

eISSN: 1469-7610

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jcpp.13506

URL: https://doi.org/10.1111/jcpp.13506

Background Commonly recognized childhood conduct problems often lead to costly problems in adulthood. This study aimed to evaluate the long-term cumulative cost of childhood conduct problems until the age of 30. The costs included inpatient care, nervous system medicine purchases, and criminal offences. Methods The study used population-based nationwide 1981 birth cohort data. Families and teachers assessed the conduct problems of the eight-year-olds based on Rutter questionnaires. We grouped 5,011 children into low-level of conduct problems (52%), intermediate-level of conduct problems (37%), and high-level of conduct problems (11%) groups, based on combined conduct symptoms scores. The analysis included the cohort data with the Care Register for Health Care, the Drug Prescription Register, and the Finnish Police Register. The cost valuation of service use applied national unit costs in 2016 prices. We used Wilcoxon rank-sum test to test the differences between groups and gender. Results During 1989-2011, average cumulative costs of the high-level (euro44,348, p < .001) and the intermediate-level (euro19,405, p < .001) of conduct problems groups were higher than the low-level of conduct problems group's (euro10,547) costs. In all three groups, the boys' costs were higher than girls' costs. Conclusions The costs associated with conduct problems in childhood are substantial, showing a clear need for cost-effective interventions. Implementation decisions of interventions benefit from long-term cost-effectiveness modelling studies. Costing studies, like this, provide cost and cost offset information for modelling studies.

Downloadable publication

This is an electronic reprint of the original article.
This reprint may differ from the original in pagination and typographic detail. Please cite the original version.

Last updated on 2021-23-09 at 12:20