Prevalence of psychosocial problems in Dutch children aged 8–12 years and its association with risk factors and quality of life

M Bot, Bettina de Leeuw den Bouter, Marcel C. Adriaanse

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    35 Citations (Scopus)


    AIMS: To determine the prevalence of psychosocial problems among Dutch children aged 8-12 years and studying its association with risk factors and quality of life.

    METHODS: This study was conducted within the framework of a community-based health study in the north-west region of the Netherlands. The cross-sectional study sample consisted of 2703 children (1392 boys and 1311 girls). Psychosocial problems and quality of life were measured with the extended version of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) and KIDSCREEN-10, respectively. Questionnaires and data about risk factors (parental education level, ethnicity, family structure, income, chronic diseases and life events) were completed by the parents or caregivers.

    RESULTS: The prevalence of psychosocial problems (SDQ score > or =14) in the total sample was 10.4%. The prevalence was higher in boys compared with girls (13.9% v. 6.6%, OR= 2.28; 95% CI = 1.75-2.97). Boys had significantly more hyperactivity/inattention, conduct, peer relationship and prosocial behaviour problems compared with girls. Risk factors associated with psychosocial problems were: one or more chronic disease(s), life event(s), a low parental educational level (for boys only) and an income under a modal level. Psychosocial problems were significantly inverse related with quality of life in the total sample (rho = -0.47).

    CONCLUSIONS: Psychosocial problems are common in children, especially among boys, and are inversely related with children's quality of life. The identified risk factors in this study can be useful for developing targeted prevention strategies aimed at children at high risk for psychosocial problems.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)357-365
    Number of pages9
    JournalEpidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2011


    • Child
    • Child Behavior Disorders
    • Cross-Sectional Studies
    • Female
    • Humans
    • Journal Article
    • Male
    • Mental Disorders
    • Netherlands
    • Prevalence
    • Psychiatric Status Rating Scales
    • Quality of Life
    • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
    • Risk Factors
    • Sex Distribution
    • Surveys and Questionnaires

    Cite this