Self-reported mental health in children ages 6–12 years across eight European countries
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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.
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