Utility of self-reported mental health measures for preventing unintentional injury: results from a cross-sectional study among French schoolchildren.


BACKGROUND: Identify children at-risk of having mental health problems is of value to prevent injury. But the limited agreement between informants might jeopardize prevention initiatives. The aims of the present study were 1) to test the concordance between parents and children reports, and 2) to investigate their relationships with parental reports of children’ unintentional injuries. METHODS: In a population-based sample of 1258 children aged 6 to 11, the associations between child psychopathology (using the Dominic Interactive and the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire) and unintentional injuries in the past 12 months were examined in univariate and multivariate models. RESULTS: As compared to children, parents tended to overestimate behavior problems and hyperactivity/inattention, and underestimate emotional symptoms. Unintentional injury in the last 12-month period was reported in 184 out of 1258 children (14.6%) and multivariate analyses showed that the risk of injury was twice as high in children self-reporting hyperactivity/inattention as compared to others. However this association was not retrieved with the parent-reported instrument. CONCLUSION: Our findings support evidence that child-reported measures of psychopathology might provide relevant information for screening and injury prevention purposes, even at a young age. It could be used routinely in combination with others validated tools.