Risk Factors for Internalizing and Externalizing Problems in the Preschool Years: Systematic Literature Review Based on the Child Behavior Checklist 1½–5
Early childhood is a common period for the onset of internalizing and externalizing problems. Many are the risk factors that contribute to the emergence of these types of problems. Literature enhances the importance of viewing the child as part of a system, in order to better understand the origin, the trajectory and the impact of risk factors in child mental health in preschool age. The current systematic literature review aims to examine empirical evidence based on the Child Behavior Checklist 1½–5 for risk factors related to the presence of internalizing and externalizing problems in children aged between 3 and 6 years old. The literature review includes articles published from January 2001 to December 2014. Twenty-eight articles that attend to pre-established inclusion and exclusion criteria were reported throughout the review. In general, results indicate that risk factors for internalizing and externalizing problems in preschool age can be organized into three main groups of risks: environment factors, parental/parenting factors, and child factors. It is clear that frequently more than one risk related to the emergence of internalizing and externalizing problems in preschool age children are reported. It is also possible to note that are few risks factors consistently studied in this age, highlighting the need for further investigation.