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The incidence, prevalence, and severity of behavior disorders among preschool-aged children in day care

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This study examined the incidence, prevalence, and severity of 14 empirically derived externalizing (unsocialized aggressive) and internalizing (socially withdrawn) behaviors among 2- through 5-year-olds attending day care. Teacher ratings were obtained for 558 children in the incidence sample and 709 children in the expanded prevalence sample. Within each age, data were cross-tabulated by sex of child and severity of behavior, and chi-square analyses were computed. Results indicated that a substantial proportion of children in the normal preschool population exhibit relatively high severities of selected externalizing and internalizing behaviors; this proportion varied with the age of the child and the behavior rated. Preschool-aged boys were consistently rated as demonstrating greater frequencies of externalizing behaviors than preschool-aged girls. The diagnostic and clinical implications of these findings are discussed.

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Crowther, J.H., Bond, L.A. & Rolf, J.E. The incidence, prevalence, and severity of behavior disorders among preschool-aged children in day care. J Abnorm Child Psychol 9, 23–42 (1981). https://doi.org/10.1007/BF00917855

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  • Clinical Implication
  • Behavior Disorder
  • Substantial Proportion
  • Great Frequency
  • Teacher Rating