Mental health of children and adolescents in 12 European countries—results from the European KIDSCREEN study

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Abstract

Within the European Screening for and Promotion of Health-Related Quality of Life in Children and Adolescents—A European Public Health Perspective (KIDSCREEN) Study, emotional well-being and behaviour was examined in national representative samples of 22 000 children and adolescents aged 8 to 18.

The proportion of children and adolescents showing signs of mental health problems (Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire—SDQ) varied across countries and socio-demographic and socio-economic subgroups. Risk factors examined included adverse family climate, low socio-economic status, poor social support and decreased mental well-being of the parents. When several risk factors occur simultaneously, the prevalence of mental health problems increases markedly. Children and adolescents with mental health problems display distinctly impaired health-related quality of life (KIDSCREEN-10).

Cross-cultural differences in the observed patterns of mental health problems were discussed. High-risk groups are cross-culturally characterized by poor social support and mental distress of parents. Strengthening social and familial resources should be a key objective, both in prevention and in interventions. Copyright © 2008 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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