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date: 03 March 2021

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter examines the nature of comorbidity among externalizing disorders, with the goal of identifying mechanisms that contribute to overlap among various dimensions of externalizing behavior. The author first examines measurement models of externalizing spectrum comorbidity to address how these models answer historical questions about externalizing behavior and to pose challenges for disentangling the nature of comorbidity among externalizing psychopathologies. Next, the author evaluates the current state of the science on etiological mechanisms of externalizing comorbidity, including a synthesis of findings from behavioral genetics, neurobiology, dispositional trait models, and family and environmental process research. Developmental influences on the nature of overlap among externalizing spectrum disorders are also discussed. The chapter concludes with a brief discussion of ongoing questions and controversies regarding co-occurrence of externalizing spectrum disorders, with suggestions for future research.

Keywords: comorbidity, externalizing, etiology, neurobiology, development

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