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Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2012 Oct;166(10):926-32.

Social-emotional problems in preschool-aged children: opportunities for prevention and early intervention.

Author information

1
Division of General and Community Pediatrics, Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center, Cincinnati, OH 45229, USA. courtneym.brown@cchmc.org

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To estimate the prevalence of positive screens for social-emotional problems among preschool-aged children in a low-income clinical population and to explore the family context and receptivity to referrals to help guide development of interventions.

DESIGN:

Observational, cross-sectional study.

SETTING:

Two urban primary care clinics.

PARTICIPANTS:

A total of 254 parents of 3- and 4-year-old children at 2 urban primary care clinics.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Score on a standardized screen for social-emotional problems (Ages and Stages Questionnaire: Social-Emotional) and answers to additional survey questions about child care arrangements, parental depressive symptoms, and attitudes toward preschool and behavioral health referrals.

RESULTS:

Twenty-four percent (95% CI, 16.5%-31.5%) of children screened positive for social-emotional problems. Among those screening positive, 45% had a parent with depressive symptoms, and 27% had no nonparental child care. Among parents of children who screened positive for social-emotional problems, 79% reported they would welcome or would not mind a referral to a counselor or psychologist; only 16% reported a prior referral.

CONCLUSIONS:

In a clinical sample, 1 in 4 low-income preschool-aged children screened positive for social-emotional problems, and most parents were amenable to referrals to preschool or early childhood mental health. This represents an opportunity for improvement in primary prevention and early intervention for social-emotional problems.

PMID:
22926145
PMCID:
PMC3578344
DOI:
10.1001/archpediatrics.2012.793
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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