Risk factors for conduct disorder among Navajo Indian men and women

S. J. Kunitz, K. R. Gabriel, J. E. Levy, E. Henderson, K. Lampert, J. McCloskey, G. Quintero, S. Russell, A. Vince

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16 Scopus citations


Objectives: To describe the risk factors for conduct disorder before age 15 among Navajo Indians. Methods. The study was based on a survey of a stratified random sample of adult Navajo Indians between the ages of 21 and 65 living on and adjacent to two different areas of the Navajo Reservation. There were 531 male and 203 female respondents. The average age (SD) of the men was 38.7 (10.5) years and of the women 35.5 (9.0) years. Conduct disorder was diagnosed retrospectively using the Diagnostic Interview Schedule first developed for the Epidemiological Catchment Area study. The responses were combined into a continuous scale. Results: Significant risk factors for increased scores on the conduct disorder scale were: histories of physical and sexual abuse in childhood; abusive maternal drinking; a small number of households per camp; younger age; and being male rather than female. Measures of social status and religion in which subjects were raised were not significant. Conclusions: Many of the risk factors that are associated with conduct disorder in other populations are also risk factors in the Navajo population. There is suggestive evidence that some of these risk factors have become more common since World War II, raising the possibility that conduct disorder has become more prevalent, as is thought to be the case nationwide.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)180-189
Number of pages10
JournalSocial Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 1999


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