Self-reported mental health in children ages 6–12 years across eight European countries
- 453 Downloads
Worldwide, approximately one in eight children or adolescents suffers from a mental disorder. The present study was designed to determine the self-reported prevalence of mental health problems in children aged 6–11 years across eight European countries including Italy, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Romania, and Turkey. Data were drawn from 6245 children participating in the School Children Mental Health in Europe (SCHME) study and a large cross-sectional survey in France. Self-reported child mental health was assessed using the Dominique Interactive (DI). Overall, 22.0% of children were identified per their own evaluation as having at least one mental disorder, ranging from 16.4% in the Netherlands to 27.9% in Bulgaria. The prevalence of internalizing disorders was 18.4% across countries and ranged from 11.8% in the Netherlands to 24.3% in Turkey. The prevalence of externalizing disorders was lower with an average of 7.8%, ranging from 3.5% in Turkey to 10.5% in Bulgaria. Combining samples across European countries, 1 in 5 children reported internalizing problems and 1 in 12 children externalizing problems. The net completion rates of 4.1–74.3% preclude conclusions about national differences in prevalence rates.
KeywordsChild mental health Europe Prevalence Self-reported mental health
This study was funded by the European Union, Grant number 2006336.
Compliance with ethical standards
Conflict of interest
On behalf of all the authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.
- 1.Goodman A, Heiervang E, Fleitlich-Bilyk B, Alyahri A, Patel V, Mullick MI et al (2012) Cross-national differences in questionnaires do not necessarily reflect comparable differences in disorder prevalence. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol 47(8):1321–1331. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00127-011-0440-2 CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
- 3.Achenbach TM, Edelbrock CS (1983) Manual for the child behavior checklist: and revised child behavior profile. University of Vermont, Department of Psychiatry, Burlington, VTGoogle Scholar
- 29.Husky MM, Keyes K, Hamilton A, Stragalinou A, Pez O, Kuijpers R et al (2017) Maternal Problem Drinking and Child Mental Health. Subst Use Misuse 1–9. doi: 10.1080/10826084.2017.1312448
- 31.Kuijpers RC, Otten R, Vermulst AA, Pez O, Bitfoi A, Carta M et al (2015) Reliability, factor structure, and measurement invariance of the Dominic Interactive across European Countries: cross-country utility of a child mental health self-report. Psychol Assess. https://doi.org/10.1037/pas0000139 PubMedPubMedCentralCrossRefGoogle Scholar
- 35.Kuijpers R, Otten R, Vermulst A, Pez O, Bitfoi A, Carta M et al (2014) Cross-country construct validity of the ‘Dominic Interactive’. Eur J Public Health 24(suppl 2):046Google Scholar
- 37.Kovess V (2004) The state of mental health in the European Union. European Commission, LuxemburgGoogle Scholar
- 39.Van der Toorn SL, Huizink AC, Utens EM, Verhulst FC, Ormel J, Ferdinand RF (2010) Maternal depressive symptoms, and not anxiety symptoms, are associated with positive mother–child reporting discrepancies of internalizing problems in children: a report on the TRAILS Study. Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry 19(4):379–388CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar