Serious emotional and behavioral problems and mental health contacts in American and British children and adolescents

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

OBJECTIVE: To compare prevalence of serious emotional and behavioral problems and mental health contacts for these problems among American and British children and adolescents. METHOD: Data on children and adolescents ages 5 to 16 years were drawn from the 2004 U.S. National Health Interview Survey (response rate = 79.4%) and the 2004 survey of Mental Health of Children and Young People in Great Britain (response rate = 76.0%). Emotional problems, hyperactivity/inattention, and conduct problems were assessed using the parent version of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). Psychometric properties of SDQ scales were compared across countries. RESULTS: The SDQ has similar psychometric properties across countries. More British than American children met the criteria for emotional and conduct problems, but not hyperactivity/inattention. Prevalence was higher for all problems in 5- to 8-year-old British boys and for emotional problems in 13- to 16-year-old British girls. American children with serious emotional and behavioral problems had a higher prevalence of mental health contacts overall and with mental health providers but not with general medical providers. CONCLUSIONS: British children have a higher prevalence of parent-reported serious emotional and behavioral problems than American children. However, British children with these problems are less likely than American children to receive mental health care.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1215-1223
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Volume45
Issue number10
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 1 2006
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Epidemiology
  • Mental health services
  • Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Serious emotional and behavioral problems and mental health contacts in American and British children and adolescents'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this