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Self-reported behavioural/emotional problems in Norwegian adolescents from multiethnic areas

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Self-reported behavioural/emotional problems were studied in 2647 15–18-year-old high school students by Youth Self-Report (YSR), Symptom Checklist (SCL-12) and a Conduct Problem scale. The response rate was 85%. The respondents were from three ethnic groups in northern Norway: indigenous Sami,Kvens (descendants of Finnish-speaking immigrants from northern Finland and Sweden) and Norwegians. Females’ mean scores were higher than males’ scores for Total Problems [47.2 (SD 19.3) vs. 40.9 (SD 19.4)], Internalising Problems, the Internalising syndrome scales and the Attention Problems scale. Males’ mean scores were higher than females’ scores for Delinquent Behaviour. There were few differences between the ethnic groups, but Sami had higher scores than Norwegians for the Withdrawn and Social Problems syndromes. Parental status (whether parents were living together) was weakly associated with Total Problems, Internalising and Externalising Problems, while age, socioeconomic status and urban/rural location were not associated with the problem scales. Results for Anxiety-depression (SCL-12) and Conduct Problems were compared with a national representative adolescent sample (n = 4567), showing slight differences between the samples in Anxiety-depression (with north Norwegian adolescents having lower scores) and no significant differences in Conduct Problems.

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Correspondence to Sonja Heyerdahl MD.

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Heyerdahl, S., Kvernmo, S. & Wichstrøm, L. Self-reported behavioural/emotional problems in Norwegian adolescents from multiethnic areas. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry 13, 64–72 (2004).

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