Mental problems and their socio-demographic determinants in young schoolchildren in Sweden, a country with high gender and income equality
2016 (English)In: Scandinavian Journal of Public Health, ISSN 1403-4948, E-ISSN 1651-1905, Vol. 44, no 1, 18-26 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
AIMS: Mental problems and their potential socio-demographic determinants were investigated in young schoolchildren in Sweden, a high-income country in the top of income- and gender-equality rankings.
METHODS: Cross-sectional study of 1465 schoolchildren in grades 3 and 6. Mental health was measured by the Child Behavior Checklist and the Youth Self Report (Total problems and 14 specific problem areas). Potential socio-demographic determinants were sex, parental education and occupation, family structure, and immigrant status.
RESULTS: Mental problems were present in 14% of the sixth graders and in 7% of the third graders. In grade 3, the mean total problem score was lower in girls than in boys, but the prevalence of problems at a subclinical/clinical level did not differ by sex. Furthermore, in nine to 13 of the 14 specific problem areas, problems were equally distributed by sex, parental education, parental occupation, immigrant status, and family structure. In grade 6, both the total mean score and the overall odds of subclinical/clinical problems were similar in girls and boys. Likewise, in all the specific problem areas, problems were evenly distributed by parental education and occupation, and only independently associated with immigrant status and family structure in one problem area. In five specific problem areas, boys had higher odds of problems than girls.
CONCLUSIONS: This study shows that also in a relatively wealthy and equal country such as Sweden, mental problems are a significant child public health issue. The association between socio-demographic background and mental problems seems to be rather weak, but differ dependent on the type of mental problem in focus.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. Vol. 44, no 1, 18-26 p.
adolescent, anxiety, aggression, attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity, child, conduct disorder, depression, mental disorders, prevalence, socio-demographic factors
Public Health, Global Health, Social Medicine and Epidemiology
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-110310DOI: 10.1177/1403494815603544ISI: 000369969000005PubMedID: 26392422OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-110310DiVA: diva2:862119