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Eur Child Adolesc Psychiatry. 1999;8 Suppl 4:17-28.

Psychiatric disorders in 8-9-year-old children based on a diagnostic interview with the parents.

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Department of Child Psychiatry, University of Helsinki, Finland.


Using three questionnaires, the Rutter Parent Questionnaire (RA2), The Rutter Teacher Questionnaire (RB2) and the Children's Depression Inventory (CDI), we screened 8-9-year-old children representing a total annual birth cohort (N = 60007) in Finland. In a second stage we interviewed the parents of 119 screen negative, and 316 screen positive children by using a structured parent interview. At the population level the overall prevalence rate for psychiatric disturbance was 21.8%, higher among boys (29.8%) than among girls (12.8%). Nine percent of the children were in urgent need of treatment and, in addition, 25% were in need of assessment. The prevalence of different levels of disturbance was: reactive 9.5%; neurotic 18.4%; borderline 3.1%; and other severe disorders 2.3%. The prevalence of different diagnostic groups were: anxiety disorder 5.2%; depressive disorder 6.2%; specific fears 2.4%; defiant and conduct disorder 4.7%; and attention-deficit hyperactivity-disorder 7.1%. The prevalence for the most common single first Axis-I DSM-III-R diagnoses were: attention-deficit hyperactivity-disorder 7%; dysthymia 4.6%; adjustment disorder with mixed disturbance of emotion and conduct 3.4%; oppositional defiant disorder 2.7%; specific fear 1.7%; anxiety disorder 1.5%; enuresis nocturnal 1.5%; and depression 1.4%. Only 3.1% of the children had visited health professionals for psychiatric problems during the previous three months. Only a minority of the children with psychiatric disturbances had ever consulted health professionals for their problems. Of all the children, 7.5% had a severe psychiatric disturbance that had lasted for more than 3 years.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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