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Mental health in Dutch children: (II). The prevalence of psychiatric disorder and relationship between measures.


This study concerns the second, more clinically oriented, part of our epidemiological project. The prevalence of child psychiatric disorders in random samples of 8- and 11-year-old children is assessed by using standardized parent- and child-interviews. The relationships between different measures of child psychopathology are determined. Furthermore, additional validity measures of the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) and Teacher Report Form (TRF) developed by Achenbach, are provided. Of the 153 8- and 11-year-old children selected through a two-stage sampling procedure, 116 (76%) children and their parents were intensively clinically assessed. The correlation between CBCL and direct child assessment is .42, whereas the correlation between the TRF and direct child assessment is .28. The correlation between TRF and CBCL is .26. The implications of the low correlation between raters who saw children is different situations are emphasized. The weight given to reports from different sources varies with the kind of problem the child exhibits. It is concluded that more research is needed to investigate the relative value of different types of data for different conditions. Seven percent of the 8- and 11-year-olds were judged severely disordered, whereas for 26% the clinicians judged the child to be moderately or severely disordered. The high prevalence rates found in our study compared with others is partly attributed to the arbitrary nature of clinical judgement. ANOVAs and discriminant function analysis were performed to obtain those CBCL items that showed the best discrimination between children who were clinically judged disordered and children from the normative comparison group. Many items found to be good discriminators of clinical status in this study were among the best discriminators of referral status in the earlier reported part of the study. A number of family and social factors were found to be associated with psychiatric disorder. These findings support those in other studies.

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