Expansion of the youth mental health sector has exposed a need for an outcome measure for young adults accessing services. The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) is a widely used consumer and carer outcome measure for children and adolescents. The aim of this study was to evaluate the psychometric properties of a young adult SDQ. The young adult SDQ was introduced for routine clinical practice at Eastern Health Child and Youth Mental Health Service (EH-CYMHS), complementing the well-established adolescent and child versions. Data for adolescents (aged 12–17) and young adults (aged 18–25) where both self-report and parent SDQs had been completed at entry point to the service were extracted from a two-year period. Overall, paired cases involved 532 adolescents and 125 young adults. Across both self-report and parent SDQs, a similar pattern of results was found between adolescents and young adults on mean scores, inter-scale correlations, internal consistency, and inter-rater agreement. The findings of the current study support the use of the young adult SDQ in public mental health as an instrument whose psychometric properties, to date, appear consistent with those of the adolescent version. Further investigation is warranted.
Keywords: Expansion of the youth mental health sector has exposed a need for an outcome measure for young adults accessing services. The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) is a widely used consumer and carer outcome measure for children and adolescents. The aim of this study was to evaluate the psychometric properties of a young adult SDQ. The young adult SDQ was ... Read More
Although the importance of parenting styles directly influencing child development is well established, fewer studied have examined whether parenting styles also affect children’s behavioural problems indirectly, mediated through children’s academic self-concept (ASC). We examined direct and shared effects of parenting styles on behavioural problems of 199 Kurdish primary school children with a mean age of 11 years 7 months (range 11 years 5 months to 12 years 3 months). Questionnaires measured parenting styles (child version of Alabama Parenting Questionnaire), assessed children’s ASC (Myself-As-Learner Scale) and identified children’s behavioural problems with the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). PROCESS analysis was used to perform the mediation analysis. The results revealed that positive and negative parenting composites are indirectly related to children’s internalising behaviour problems. In addition, ASC partially mediated the relationship between the negative parenting composite and prosocial behaviour. However, the mediation analysis did not show the expected indirect effect of parenting styles on externalising problems as being mediated via ASC. Hence, we argue that the ASC serves as a significant mediator in the relationship between parenting styles with prosocial behaviour and internalising problems.
Keywords: Academic self-concept; Behavioural problems; Mediating effect; Parenting styles
Background: Little data are available on health-related quality of life (HRQOL) of children in Germany at the age of school enrollment. Objective: Aim of this study was to investigate the HRQOL of children during school enrollment and to determine its predictors with special focus on environmental factors. Methods: Data from the fifth survey of the Health-Monitoring-Units (GME) conducted in Bavaria (2010/2011) were analyzed. Parent-reported data on HRQOL using the KINDL-R(evised), the Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), socio-demographic characteristics and characteristics of the living environment were assessed. Results: The sample included a total of 3,744 children (45.9% female; mean age: 6.0; SD=0.4). Girls had significantly higher values than boys in total HRQOL (83.7 vs. 82.4, p =0.0001) and in all KINDL-R subscales except 'psychological well-being' and 'physical well-being'. For the latter, boys had significantly higher values than girls (84.1 vs. 82.9, p=0.0103). Multiple linear regression analysis showed that parental annoyance with air or noise pollution, possibility for children to safely play outside and the time a child is outside on weekdays in the summertime were significant predictors of total HRQOL measured by the KINDL-R. Obesity was not linked to HRQOL. Children with migration background had significantly higher values in the subscales 'family' and 'friends'. Conclusions: Environmental factors are associated with HRQOL in children at the age of school enrollment but only partially of relevant use. Although they show significant associations, their explanatory power of the variability observed is rather limited.
Keywords: Children; health-related quality of life; environmental factors; predictors
Person-oriented methods recently have been used to examine school readiness patterns of strengths and weaknesses across multiple domains, but more research in high-risk samples is needed. The current study used latent profile analysis to examine whether teacher ratings could be used to identify distinct and valid readiness profiles among 301 high-risk, low-income kindergartners. Four profiles were identified: (1) Well-Adjusted, with strengths in every domain (42%), (2) Competent-Aggressive, with above-average academic abilities and elevated disruptive behavior (19%), (3) Academically Disengaged, with weaknesses in most domains but no disruptive behavior (22%), and (4) Multi-Risk, with severe weaknesses in every domain (17%). These four profiles differed on concurrent direct assessments of language and executive functioning, as well as on peer ratings of behavior. Results highlight heterogeneity among children at risk for poor school adjustment and indicate that valid profiles of school readiness can be derived from teacher ratings. Further, this study suggests that a person-oriented approach can provide a useful framework for researchers, interventionists, and teachers as they consider which different classroom practices or programs may be required to best meet the unique learning and developmental needs of different subgroups of children as they transition to school.
Keywords: School readiness; Academic skills; Social-emotional skills; Person-oriented; Profiles
AIM: Preschoolers with behavioural difficulties, both at clinical and sub-clinical levels, are at higher risk for several negative outcomes. The current paper reports the results from a randomized clinical trial evaluating an adaptation of the Coping Power for preschool-aged children. In the present study, Coping Power is adapted as a universal prevention intervention, in which teachers deliver a curriculum that is designed to improve children’s social competence and reduce problem behaviours. METHODS: Ten nursery school classes (164 children, mean age 54.40 months) from two Italian schools were randomly assigned to Coping Power or to the control group, which received the standard academic curriculum provided in Italian nursery schools. Teachers in the five intervention classes implemented weekly lessons and extension activities over a 6-month period. Teacher and parent reports of child behaviour assessments were collected at the beginning and end of the school year. At each assessment period, teachers completed the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. RESULTS: The findings suggest that after exposure to Coping Power, intervention children showed lower levels of behavioural difficulties, rated both by parents and teachers. CONCLUSIONS: The results of this study are promising and can be interpreted as providing initial support for the efficacy of the preschool version of Coping Power.
Keywords: aggressive behaviour; disruptive behaviour disorder; prevention; school
There have been several attempts to identify individuals potentially at high risk for psychotic-spectrum disorders using brief screening measures. However, relatively few studies have tested the psychometric properties of the psychosis screening measures in representative samples of adolescents. The main purpose of the present study was to analyse the prevalence, factorial structure, measurement invariance across gender, and reliability of the Youth Psychosis At-Risk Questionnaire – Brief (YPARQ-B) in a community-derived sample of adolescents. Additionally, the relationship between YPARQ-B, depressive symptoms, psychopathology, stress manifestations, and prosocial skills was analysed. One thousand and twenty students from high schools participated in a cross-sectional survey. The YPARQ-B, the Reynolds Adolescent Depression Scale, the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire, and the Student Stress Inventory – Stress Manifestations were used. A total of 85.1% of the total sample self-reported at least one subclinical psychotic experience. We observed a total of 10.9% of adolescents with a cutoff score of >/=11 or 6.8% with a cutoff score of >/=13. The analysis of internal structure of the YPARQ-B yielded an essentially unidimensional structure. The YPARQ-B scores showed measurement invariance across gender. The internal consistency of the YPARQ-B total score was 0.94. Furthermore, self-reported subclinical psychotic experiences were associated with depressive symptoms, emotional and behavioural problems, poor prosocial skills, and stress manifestations. These results would appear to indicate that YPARQ-B is a brief and easy tool to assess self-reported subclinical psychotic experiences in adolescents from the general population. The assessment of these experiences in community settings, and its associations with psychopathology, may help us to enhance the possibility of an early identification of adolescents potentially at risk for psychosis and mental health problems.
Keywords: early detection; psychosis; risk; screening; YPARQ‐B
OBJECTIVE: This study examined the association between autism spectrum disorder (ASD) symptom severity and academic outcomes and classroom functioning in a community-based sample of children with and without ADHD. METHOD: Participants included children with ADHD (n =179) and a non-ADHD group (n =212). ASD symptom severity, academic and learning skills, and classroom functioning were assessed via teacher report using the Social Skills Improvement System (SSIS; ASD and Academic Competence subscales) and the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ; all subscales). RESULTS: Children with ADHD had higher teacher-reported ASD symptoms than children without ADHD (beta= .62, p< .001). Greater teacher-reported ASD symptoms were associated with more behavioral difficulties in the classroom for children with ADHD (beta= .50, p< .001). There was little evidence of an association between academic competence and ASD symptom severity in children with ADHD (beta= -.11, p = .15). CONCLUSION: ASD symptoms are associated with elevated classroom behavioral difficulties for children with ADHD.
Keywords: ADHD; ADHD; autism spectrum disorders (ASD); children
Objective: To determine whether an early intervention using a psychological debriefing format is effective in preventing psychological distress in child road traffic accident survivors. Design: Randomised controlled trial. Setting: Accident and Emergency Department, Royal United Hospital, Bath. Subjects: 158 children aged 7-18. Follow-up assessment completed eight months post accident with 132 (70/82 of the experimental group and 62/76 in the control group). Main outcome measures: Self-completed measures of psychological distress; fulfilment of diagnostic criteria for post-traumatic stress disorder. Results: Children in both groups demonstrated considerable improvements at follow-up. The early intervention did not result in any additional significant gains. Conclusions: Although children in this study made significant improvements it is unclear whether these are better or worse than natural recovery rates. The specific intervention did not result in additional gains although the structured assessment provided for both groups may have been helpful in reducing subsequent pathology.
Keywords: children; trauma; early intervention; debriefing; PTSD; RCT
Objective: A relatively small number of functional imaging studies of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have shown abnormal prefrontal and striatal brain activation during tasks of motor response inhibition. However, the potential confound of previous medication exposure has not yet been addressed, and no functional imaging study exists to date on medication-naive children and adolescents with ADHD. The aim of this study was to investigate the neural substrates of a range of motor and cognitive inhibitory functions in a relatively large group of children and adolescents with ADHD who had never previously been exposed to medication. Method: Nineteen boys with ADHD and 27 healthy age- and IQ-matched boys underwent functional MRI to compare brain activation during performance of tasks that assessed motor response inhibition (go/no go task), cognitive interference inhibition (motor Stroop task), and cognitive flexibility (switch task). Results: Boys with ADHD showed decreased activation in the left rostral mesial frontal cortex during the go/no go task and decreased activation in the bilateral prefrontal and temporal lobes and right parietal lobe during the switch task. No significant group differences were observed during motor Stroop task performance. Conclusion: Abnormal brain activation was observed in medication-naive children and adolescents with ADHD during tasks involving motor inhibition and task switching, suggesting that hypoactivation in this patient group is unrelated to long-term stimulant exposure. Furthermore, functional abnormalities are task-specific and extend from frontostriatal to parietal and temporal cortices.
BACKGROUND: Mild mental retardation is an enduring and impairing condition. Its prevalence has varied widely across different studies from .5 to over 8%, with higher rates in completely ascertained samples. The current study estimates the prevalence of low IQ in the mental retardation range (intellectual disability) in a population sample and examines the factors that relate to educational identification. METHOD: A total of 2,730 children in school years 8 and 9 attending local authority schools were assessed in school with the group-administered Cognitive Abilities Test (CAT). A sample of 304 pupils at high, moderate and low risk of mild mental retardation was selected for in-depth study. This included the individually measured full-scale IQ (WISC-III(UK)), the Wechsler Quicktest of attainments, the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire from parents and teachers and an abbreviated version of the Social Communication Questionnaire. RESULTS: Of those selected for the in-depth study, 204 (67%) participated, with a greater proportion from the low risk group. A range of prevalence estimates were calculated using different imputation methods and assumptions about individuals not screened. Rates of pupils with WISC IQ < 70 varied from 5.8% to 10.6%. There were no significant gender differences. In contrast to the high prevalence estimates using the WISC, the proportion of pupils scoring in the lowest stanine on the CAT was as expected. Only 15% of those with IQ < 70 had a statement of special educational needs or attended a school for moderate learning difficulties. Behaviour, particularly social communication problems, predicted educational identification. CONCLUSIONS: The current study produced a high estimate of the prevalence of mild intellectual disability based on the WISC but not on the CAT. The findings highlight that the majority of mild intellectual disability in the UK would not be detected using registers. Cases that are detected by registers are more behaviourally disturbed than others.
Keywords: mental retardation; prevalence; psychological testing; intelligence; conduct disorder; emotional disorder