Hooked on Patterns

Demystifying statistics, machine learning, and “Big Data” in mental health and substance abuse

Cool at 13, Not Necessarily Adrift at 23

A closer read of "Long-Term Sequelae of Early Adolescent Pseudomature Behavior" reveals significant variance in outcomes for this longitudinal study. Popular media like to conflate testing a hypothesis to making a prediction. Read More

Drugs and shoplifting are bad

The American heartland believes drugs and shoplifting are bad. So is underaged drinking and heavy petting prior to age 18. So if there is a study out there where someone comes up with a bunch of data, a spreadsheet and some results, we know darned well the whole shebang will be twisted, turned and analyzed so the "experts" can conclude under-aged drinking, drug, shoplifting and adolescent romance will ruin one's life, whether it does or not. This is probably so that those who go to church, have no social life and sit for years in a boring dead-end job can feel good about their decisions, and far less about how to better guide our children.

The same can be said for studies that say children of single moms will end up in trouble, married people are better people, black fathers don't parent their kids and abstinence is best for addiction recovery. Nobody likes the truth.

Conduct Disorder and Sociopathy

If the child displays the signs of conduct disorder
they must be watched and helped as early as possible.
That might be an early sign of psychopathy, like the two
12 year old girls that tried to kill their friend a few
weeks ago.
But a child CAN be well behaved, and have sociopathic
sympthems at a later age, even up to age 20.
Psychopathy (Brain damage) is different from sociopathy.

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Sean X. Luo, M.D., Ph.D. is a physician-scientist working at Columbia University and The New York State Psychiatric Institute.
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