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Rural-urban child psychopathology in a Northeastern U.S. state: 1986-1989.

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Department of Epidemiology, Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, MA 02115.


Parent and teacher symptom reports from two epidemiological surveys of 2,519 Connecticut children were used to study rural-urban differences in childhood psychopathology. Parents and teachers of girls in cities reported elevated total disturbance and social withdrawal. Parents of urban girls also reported higher rates of behavioral disturbance. For boys, urban excesses were primarily observed in emotional disturbance. Rural-urban variation was largely associated with economic and cultural differences between sites and not with urbanization per se. Findings suggest that certain assumptions about rural-urban differences in specific forms of psychopathology, such as delinquency, should be reevaluated.

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