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European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

, Volume 4, Issue 4, pp 237–248 | Cite as

The Icelandic child mental health study. An epidemiological study of Icelandic children 2–18 years of age using the Child Behavior Checklist as a screening instrument

  • Helga Hannesdóttir
  • Sif Einarsdóttir
Article

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to test the applicability of a standardised procedure for assessing Icelandic children's behaviour/emotional problems and competencies, and to identify differences related to demographic variables. This study focuses upon the method of using the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) by Achenbach to estimate the reported prevalence by parents and adolescents of emotional and behaviour problems in children from 2–16 years of age and self-reported prevalence of adolescents from 11–18 years, selected at random from the general population, both in urban and rural areas. The information was obtained by mailing checklists with a letter to parents of children 2–10 years of age. The checklists for adolescents 11–18 years of age were distributed by teachers in school. Those adolescents who were not in school received the checklists by mail at their homes. The Child Behavior Checklists used for analyses were completed by 109 parents of 2–3 year old children; 943 parents of 4–16 year old children, and 545 non-referred adolescents from the general population. The rate of response was lowest for the youngest age group, 47%, but increased to 62% with increasing age of the child. The response rate among the adolescents answering the Youth Self Report was 64%. Comparisons with the Child Behavior Checklist from this study are presented with Dutch, American, French, Canadian, German and Chilean samples and show striking similarities in four of these countries on the behaviour/emotional problems reported.

Keywords

Epidemiology Screening Cross-Cultural Parent/Adolescent Reports Child/Adolescent Psychopathology 

Résumé

Le but de cette étude est de tester l'applicabilité d'une procédure standardisée dont le but est, d'une part, d'évaluer les problèmes et capacités aussi bien émotionnels que comportementaux ainsi que, d'autre part, d'identifier les différences dûes aux variables démographiques. Cette étude se concentre sur la méthode d'utilisation de la liste de contrôle (Child Behavior Checklist) selon Aschenbach afin d'évaluer la prépondérance des problèmes émotionnels et comportementaux chez les enfants de 2 à 16 ans rapportés par les parents et adolescents, et celle rapportée par des adolescents de 11 à 18 ans eux-mêmes, sélectionnés de manière arbitraire dans l'ensemble de la population, aussi bien en milieu rural qu'urbain. Les informations ont été obtenues grâce à l'envoi de listes accompagnées d'une lettre à un certain nombre de parents d'enfants agès de 2 à 10 ans. Les listes concernant les adolescents agés de 11 à 18 ans furent distribuées dans les écoles par les enseignants. Les jeunes gens qui ne se trouvaient pas à l'école ont reçu la liste chez eux par courrier. Les listes de contrôle utilsées dans le cadre de l'analyse ont été complétées par 109 parents d'enfants agés de 2 à 3 ans, 943 parents d'enfants de 4 à 16 ans ainsi que 545 adolescents issus de l'ensemble de la population et à l'age resté indéterminé. Le taux de réponses s'est avéré plus faible pour le groupe d'age le plus bas, 47%, lequel cependant s'est accru à 62% avec l'age des enfants concernés. Le taux de réponse au ‘rapport sur la jeunesse par elle-même’ (Youth Self Report) parmis les adolescents fût de 64%. Des comparaisons avec les listes de contrôle du comportement enfantin ont été rendues possible par l'existence de sondages hollandais, américains, français, canadiens, allemands et chiliens, lesquelles montrent des similitudes notables quant aux problèmes émotionnels et comportementaux dans quatre de ces pays.

Zusammenfassung

Der Zweck dieser Studie war es, die Anwendbarkeit eines standardisierten Instruments zur Erfassung von Verhaltensauffälligkeiten, emotionalen Problemen und Kompetenzen auf isländische Kinder zu testen und Unterschiede zu erfassen, die auf demographische Variablen zurückzuführen sind. Diese Studie konzentriert sich auf die Methode der Anwendung der CBCL von Achenbach bei Zufallsstichproben aus der Allgemeinbevölkerung sowohl städtischer als auch ländlicher Regionen, um die von Eltern und Jugendlichen berichteten Prävalenzraten emotionaler Probleme bzw. Verhaltensauffälligkeiten von Kindern im Alter von 2–16 Jahren und von selbst berichteten Prävalenzraten von Jugendlichen zwischen 11 und 18 Jahren einzuschätzen. Um die entsprechenden Informationen zu gewinnen, wurden die CBCL-Fragebögen zusammen mit einem Begleitbrief an Eltern von 2–10jährigen Kindern versandt. Die Fragebögen für die Jugendlichen zwischen 11 und 18 Jahren wurden von Lehrern in der Schule verteilt. Denjenigen Jugendlichen, die nicht in der Schule waren, wurden die Fragebögen per Post nach Hause gesandt. Die CBCL-Fragebögen, die zur Auswertung kamen, wurden von 109 Eltern von 2–3jährigen Kindern, von 943 Eltern von 4–16jährigen Kindern und von 545 nicht überwiesenen Jugendlichen aus der Allgemeinbevölkerung ausgefüllt. Die Rücklaufquote war am niedrigsten bei der jüngsten Altersgruppe (47%) und wuchs mit zunehmendem Alter des Kindes auf 62% an. Die Rücklaufquote unter den Jugendlichen, die den Youth Self Report ausgefüllt hatten, betrug 64%. Es werden Vergleiche zwischen den Ergebnissen dieser Studie mit Stichproben aus den Niederlanden, Amerika, Frankreich, Kanada, Deutschland und Chile angestellt, wobei sich auffallende Ähnlichkeiten in vier dieser Länder im Hinblick auf die berichteten Verhaltens- und emotionalen Probleme ergeben.

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Copyright information

© Hogrefe & Huber Publishers 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • Helga Hannesdóttir
    • 1
  • Sif Einarsdóttir
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Child & Adolescent PsychiatryNational University HospitalReykjavikIceland
  2. 2.ChampaignUSA

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