Children‘s Mental Health across 8 Countries: Results from Self-Evaluation Using the DI

ABSTRACT SL1-2

MATHILDE HUSKY
Department of Psychology, University of Bordeaux, Talence, France 

ANDERS BOYD
Institut Pierre Louis d’Epidémiologie et de Santé Publique Universite Paris 6 Pierre Et Marie Curie, Paris, France

 VIVIANE KOVESS-MASFETY
EHESP EA 4057 Paris Descartes Fondation Deniker, Paris, France

MAURO CARTA
Department of Public Health, Center of Liaison Psychiatry Cagliari University, Cagliari, Italy

ADINA BITFOI
The Romanian League for Mental Health, Bucharest, Romania

CEREN KOÇ
The Yeniden Health and Education Society, Istanbul, Turkey

DIETMAR GOELITZ
Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nurnberg, Erlangen, Germany

SIGITA LESINSKIENE
Vilnius University Medical Faculty Psychiatric Clinic, Vilnius, Lithuania

ZLATKA MIHOVA
New Bulgaria University, Sofia, Bulgaria

ROY OTTEN
Radboud University, Nijmegen, Gelderland, the Netherlands

CHRISTINE CHAN-CHEE
EHESP EA 4057 Paris Descartes Fondation Deniker, Paris, France

ONDINE PEZ
Paris Descartes University, Ecole des Hautes Etudes de Santé Publique (EHESP), Paris, France

ABSTRACT DESCRIPTION

Background: Worldwide, approximately one in eight children or adolescents suffer from a mental disorder. The present study was designed to determine the cross-national prevalence of mental health problems in children aged 6 to 11 across eight European countries including Italy, France, Germany, the Netherlands, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Romania, and Turkey.

Methods: Data were drawn from the School Children Mental Health in Europe (SCHME) study to which was added data from related study conducted in France. Self-reported child mental health was assessed using the Dominique Interactive (DI), a computerized instrument designed to identify the probable presence of DSM-IV mental disorders. In addition, socio-demographic characteristics of parents and children were collected. The sample included 6,318 children.

Results: Overall and per their own evaluation, 23.1% of children were identified as having at least one mental disorder ranging from 16.1% in the Netherlands to 27.2% in Bulgaria. The prevalence of internalizing disorders ranged from 11.7% in the Netherlands to 24.7% in Turkey with an average of 19.5% across countries. The prevalence of externalizing disorders was lower with an average of 8.8%, ranging from 6.2% in Romania to 14.7% in France. Girls were more likely to report internalizing disorders including specific phobia and generalized anxiety disorder, while boys were more likely to report externalizing disorders but there were no gender differences with regard to depression.

Conclusions: There are important differences in self-reported mental health across Europe. Controlling for a number of sociodemographic and parental variables, children in France and in Bulgaria were more likely to report externalizing or internalizing disorders as compared to children in other European countries.