Author ORCID Identifier

Date Available


Year of Publication


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

Document Type

Master's Thesis


Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Dr. Michelle Martel


Conduct disorder is a childhood disruptive behavior disorder that exhibits striking gender differences in prevalence, comorbidities, and associated outcomes. These gender differences, particularly symptomology, remain understudied in conduct disorder despite the growing prevalence in females. This paper seeks to examine gender differences in parent rated conduct disorder symptoms in preschoolers overrecruited for disruptive behavior problems at three different timepoints across one-year. It is hypothesized that males will exhibit higher levels of physical aggression symptoms at the initial timepoint with declining rates across a one-year period compared to females, while females will exhibit lower levels of conduct problems at the first timepoint and increasing levels of interpersonal problem behaviors across one-year compared to males. Overall, study results suggest that only specific symptoms of early conduct disorder exhibit gender differences, particularly using a weapon or object to harm others at the initial timepoint. Counter to predictions, there were no significant gender differences in one-year preschool disruptive behavior disorder symptom trajectories. These largely nonsignificant findings may be explained by the polygenic multiple risk model, which suggests that there are multiple risk thresholds across groups such that less frequently impacted groups (here, females) have a higher threshold for the disorder.

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)