Screening for emotional and behavioural problems amongst 5-11-year-old school children in Karachi, Pakistan

Ehsan Syed, Sajida Abdul Hussein, Sadia Mahmud

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Background: While a number of studies in the western countries have provided estimates of prevalence for child psychiatric morbidity and associated risk factors, relatively little is known about child psychiatric problems and risk factors in developing countries like Pakistan. Method: A cross sectional survey of 5-11-year-old children attending main stream private and community schools in Karachi was conducted. Seven private and eight community schools agreed to participate. About 1488 consent forms were sent to 700 parents of private school and 788 parents of community school children. A total of 675 parents agreed to participate in the study. The response rate was 45.4%. Assessment of children's mental health was conducted using Strength and difficulties questionnaire (SDQ) by parents based on cut-off provided by Goodman. Results: About 47% children were rated as normal, 19% as borderline and 34% as abnormal by the parents. Ordinal regression was used to identify factors associated with parent's rating. The odds of female children of being normal was 1.5 times relative to male children, adjusting for school type and mother's education (ORadj = 1.5, 95% CI: 1.1-2.0). Children attending private schools were more likely to be normal as compared to community school children, adjusting for child's gender and mother's education (ORadj = 2.3, 95% CI: 1.3-4.0). Conclusion: In the present study, prevalence of child mental health problems was higher than reported in studies from other countries. Prevalence was higher amongst children attending community schools. Consistent with most studies, male children were at a higher risk than females. There is a need for developing programs to train, sensitise and mobilize teachers and parents regarding child's psychological, emotional and behavioural problems with special attention to community schools. Since the male child is at a greater risk we should be cognizant of this while evaluating children for psychopathology.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)421-427
Number of pages7
JournalSocial psychiatry and psychiatric epidemiology
Volume42
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2007

Fingerprint

Pakistan
schoolchild
Parents
parents
Child Psychiatry
community
private school
Problem Behavior
Mental Health
school
Cross-Sectional Studies
Mothers
Consent Forms
Education
mental health
school type
Psychopathology
psychopathology
Developing Countries
morbidity

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Epidemiology
  • Health(social science)
  • Social Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

Cite this

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title = "Screening for emotional and behavioural problems amongst 5-11-year-old school children in Karachi, Pakistan",
abstract = "Background: While a number of studies in the western countries have provided estimates of prevalence for child psychiatric morbidity and associated risk factors, relatively little is known about child psychiatric problems and risk factors in developing countries like Pakistan. Method: A cross sectional survey of 5-11-year-old children attending main stream private and community schools in Karachi was conducted. Seven private and eight community schools agreed to participate. About 1488 consent forms were sent to 700 parents of private school and 788 parents of community school children. A total of 675 parents agreed to participate in the study. The response rate was 45.4{\%}. Assessment of children's mental health was conducted using Strength and difficulties questionnaire (SDQ) by parents based on cut-off provided by Goodman. Results: About 47{\%} children were rated as normal, 19{\%} as borderline and 34{\%} as abnormal by the parents. Ordinal regression was used to identify factors associated with parent's rating. The odds of female children of being normal was 1.5 times relative to male children, adjusting for school type and mother's education (ORadj = 1.5, 95{\%} CI: 1.1-2.0). Children attending private schools were more likely to be normal as compared to community school children, adjusting for child's gender and mother's education (ORadj = 2.3, 95{\%} CI: 1.3-4.0). Conclusion: In the present study, prevalence of child mental health problems was higher than reported in studies from other countries. Prevalence was higher amongst children attending community schools. Consistent with most studies, male children were at a higher risk than females. There is a need for developing programs to train, sensitise and mobilize teachers and parents regarding child's psychological, emotional and behavioural problems with special attention to community schools. Since the male child is at a greater risk we should be cognizant of this while evaluating children for psychopathology.",
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Screening for emotional and behavioural problems amongst 5-11-year-old school children in Karachi, Pakistan. / Syed, Ehsan; Hussein, Sajida Abdul; Mahmud, Sadia.

In: Social psychiatry and psychiatric epidemiology, Vol. 42, No. 5, 01.06.2007, p. 421-427.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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