J Med Assoc Thai 2017; 100 (2):175

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Prevalence and Factors Related to Behavioral and Emotional Problems among Preschool Children in Bangkok, Thailand
Teekavanich S , Chantaratin S , Sirisakpanit S , Tarugsa J Mail

Background: Negative biological and environmental factors results in behavioral and emotional problems that can progress into more serious psychiatric conditions. Despite an increase in identification of behavioral and emotional problems in young children worldwide, epidemiological data in Thai population are limited.

Objective: To assess the prevalence of various behavioral and emotional problems and their associated factors in Thai preschoolers in Bangkok.

Material and Method: A cross-sectional study of 463 preschool children aged 4-6 years was performed from August to October 2014. The psychosocial problems were measured using the parent version of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). Several demographic variables and their associations with the identified problems were also examined and analyzed by Chi-square and Binary logistic regression.

Results: Common behavioral and emotional difficulties reported by parents were eating problems (33.6%), games/TV addiction (28.9%), and sibling rivalry (22.9%). The total difficulties scores of SDQ revealed that 11.9% of children were at risk of behavioral and emotional problems. From the SDQ-subscale-scores analysis, the most prevalent problem was hyperactivity (24%), followed by emotional symptoms (11.9%), prosocial difficulties (11.2%), conduct problems (9.5%), and peer problems (3.7%). Factors associated with the preschool behavioral and emotional problems included parental divorce (OR = 3.3 [95% CI, 1.4-7.9]), severe conflicts in family (OR = 2.7 [95% CI, 1.1-6.6]), parent and child health problems (OR = 2.8 [95% CI, 1.2-6.7] and 2.4 [95% CI, 1.0-5.6], respectively), and chronic illness of family members (OR = 5.13 [95% CI, 2.1-12.4]).

Conclusion: Preschool behavioral and emotional problems in Thailand are common. Parents often reported more behavioral problems than emotional ones. Identification of risk factors can imply effective early interventions.

Keywords: Behavioral problem, Emotional problem, Risk factor, Preschool children, SDQ

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