Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

One in five preschool children in the U. S. demonstrates mental health issues when entering kindergarten

Date:
July 8, 2010
Source:
Elsevier
Summary:
Social competence and behavior problems that are evident at kindergarten and first grade are known to be strong predictors of a child's academic and social functioning. However, new findings suggest that psychosocial risk factors can be identified even earlier and can be observed during the transition from preschool to formal schooling.

Social competence and behavior problems that are evident at kindergarten and first grade are known to be strong predictors of a child's academic and social functioning. However, findings reported in the July issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry suggest that psychosocial risk factors can be identified even earlier and can be observed during the transition from preschool to formal schooling.

The article titled "Prevalence of DSM-IV Disorder in a Representative, Healthy Birth Cohort at School Entry: Sociodemographic Risks and Social Adaptation" Dr. Alice S. Carter and colleagues report on 1,329 healthy children born between July 1995 and September 1997 in the New Haven-Meriden Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area of the 1990 Census. The researchers sought to determine the prevalence of psychiatric disorders in the early elementary school years and to examine the relationship between the sociodemographic and psychosocial risk factors and these disorders.

The study sample was ascertained through birth records, and represents one of the first longitudinal studies to evaluate psychopathology in children within the United States as they negotiate the transition to school. One parent from each family of a subsample of 442 enriched for child psychopathology was interviewed using the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children-Version IV (DISC IV) to determine the diagnosis. Parents were surveyed about sociodemographic factors, such as parental age and education, and poverty as well as psychosocial characteristics. Both parents and teachers of the children were surveyed about social competence.

Dr. Carter and colleagues report that as children transition to formal schooling, approximately one in five (21.6%) will have a psychiatric disorder with impairment. The findings confirm that the prevalence of psychopathology during the transition to school age is not dissimilar to that documented for preschool-aged children.

In addition, the risk of comorbidity (the risk of two or more disorders of any type) was 5.8%. Within the study cohort, the prevalence of externalizing disorders was 13.8% and 11.1% for internalizing disorders. Of those individuals who had more than one disorder, more than 60% had both an externalizing and an internalizing disorder.

In the article, the researchers report, "Sociodemographic and psychosocial correlates included persistent poverty beginning in early childhood, limited parental education, low family expressiveness, stressful life events, and violence exposure. Finally, diagnostic status was significantly associated with poorer social competence and family burden."

An accompanying editorial by Dr. Neil W. Boris of Tulane University can be found in the same issue of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. About the study, Dr. Boris states, "More than anything, Carter et al. remind us that young children are at significant risk for psychopathology just like older children. As children transition to school age, be on the lookout for problems."

Commenting on the potential impact of their findings, Carter and colleagues observe, "Epidemological data on prevalence and risk co-incidence with disorders during the transition to school can and should inform conversations about psychosocial school readiness, early intervention, and prevention programming."

Screening for psychopathology at the transition to school age is warranted and based on the impairment data of affected children early intervention seems appropriate. Cater and colleagues further state that, "intervention should also take into account the social context, not only within the school setting but also with respect to risk factors in the home and broader community."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Elsevier. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal References:

  1. Carter et al. Prevalence of DSM-IV Disorder in a Representative, Healthy Birth Cohort at School Entry Sociodemographic Risks and Social Adaptation. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 2010; 49 (7): 686 DOI: 10.1097/00004583-201007000-00009
  2. Boris NW. Minding the Transition to School. Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 2010;49:635-636

Cite This Page:

Elsevier. "One in five preschool children in the U. S. demonstrates mental health issues when entering kindergarten." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 8 July 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100708104318.htm>.
Elsevier. (2010, July 8). One in five preschool children in the U. S. demonstrates mental health issues when entering kindergarten. ScienceDaily. Retrieved August 20, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100708104318.htm
Elsevier. "One in five preschool children in the U. S. demonstrates mental health issues when entering kindergarten." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/07/100708104318.htm (accessed August 20, 2014).

Share This




More Mind & Brain News

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Do More Wedding Guests Make A Happier Marriage?

Newsy (Aug. 20, 2014) — A new study found couples who had at least 150 guests at their weddings were more likely to report being happy in their marriages. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

Charter Schools Alter Post-Katrina Landscape

AP (Aug. 20, 2014) — Nine years after Hurricane Katrina, charter schools are the new reality of public education in New Orleans. The state of Louisiana took over most of the city's public schools after the killer storm in 2005. (Aug. 20) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

Researcher Testing on-Field Concussion Scanners

AP (Aug. 19, 2014) — Four Texas high school football programs are trying out an experimental system designed to diagnose concussions on the field. The technology is in response to growing concern over head trauma in America's most watched sport. (Aug. 19) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Kids' Drawings At Age 4 Linked To Intelligence At Age 14

Kids' Drawings At Age 4 Linked To Intelligence At Age 14

Newsy (Aug. 19, 2014) — A study by King's College London says there's a link between how well kids draw at age 4 and how intelligent they are later in life. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins