Social competence and emotional/behaviour problems in 6–16 year-old Swedish school children
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Social competence and emotional/behavioural problems as reported by parents on a Swedish version of the Child Behaviour Checklist (CBCL) were examined in 1308 Swedish school-aged children/adolescents recruited from a stratified, random sample of schools in urban, semirural, and rural areas in Uppsala County, Sweden, and from Stockholm, the capital city of Sweden. The overall response rate was 80.6%. Few gender differences were found, but adolescents received higher problem scores and higher social competence scores than the younger children. Children from the middle SES groups were regarded as having higher social competence levels, and children from the lower SES groups had higher emotional/behaviour problem scores. Children from the larger cities consistently obtained higher problem scores. Those who had received help during the previous year because of psychological problems (2%) had much higher problems scores than those who had not received help. The levels of emotional/behavioural problems in children and adolescents in the present sample seem to be comparable to those reported in similar Scandinavian studies where the CBCL has been used. However, they were considerably lower than those commonly reported in epidemiological studies of children/adolescents from other countries and cultures.
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