Author(s): Hlling H, Kurth BM, Rothenberger A, Becker A, Schlack R, Hlling H, Kurth BM, Rothenberger A, Becker A, Schlack R
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Abstract BACKGROUND: Reliable information on the prevalence of mental health problems in children and adolescents in the general population in Germany is scarce. With the German health and examination survey for children and adolescents (KiGGS) data is available for the first time on psychopathological problems for the complete age range from 3 to 17 years. OBJECTIVES: To estimate prevalence rates for several groups with broadly defined psychopathology and to report distributions of psychopathological problems for total and fine-grained subgroups according to age, gender, socioeconomic status (SES), migration of children and adolescents from 3 to 17 years. METHODS: The strengths and difficulties questionnaire (SDQ) parent version was completed for 14,478 children and adolescents from 3 to 17 years. Data was collected from May 2003 to May 2006 from 167 representative sample points all over Germany. Prevalence rates of SDQ scales were calculated. Effects of age, gender, socio-economic status and migration status were determined. RESULTS: A total of 18.5\% of the boys and girls were classified as 'borderline or abnormal' in the total difficulties score and thus determined as risk group for public health policies. Analyses of Variance showed significant effects for age and gender, SES and migration status. Significant interactions between age and gender were found for the total difficulties, conduct problems, hyperactivity-inattention and the emotional symptoms scores; significant interaction between SES and migration status was found for the prosocial behaviour score. CONCLUSIONS: Prevalence rates of psychopathological problems in children and adolescents are in line with other published findings. Younger age, lower SES and migration are related to more psychopathological problems. While girls display more emotional problems, boys have more externalizing problems.
This article was published in Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry
and referenced in Journal of Child and Adolescent Behavior