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October 1980

Prevalence of Behavior Problems in 3-Year-Old Children: A Cross-national Replication

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry, Children's Hospital Medical Center, Boston.

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1980;37(10):1153-1157. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1980.01780230071010

• The prevalence of behavior problems in three-year-old children in a rural American community was determined from the reports of mothers. A questionnaire based on a "symptom loading" approach to screening was used. This method was previously used in an epidemiological study of behavior problems in 3-year-olds in London. The present study estimated the prevalence of behavior problems to be slightly less compared with the best estimate in the London study. As in the London study, social class and sex differences were not found to relate significantly to the presence of behavior problems. There were also similarities in the prevalence of individual behavioral items on the questionnaire. A simple parent questionnaire worked as well in a population with different demographic features as it did in the population for which it was originally designed.

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