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01-08-2007 | Original Paper | Uitgave 4/2007 Open Access

Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology 4/2007

Prevalence of Psychiatric Disorders Among Children of Different Ethnic Origin

Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology > Uitgave 4/2007
Barbara W. C. Zwirs, Huibert Burger, Tom W. J. Schulpen, Martin Wiznitzer, Hans Fedder, Jan K. Buitelaar
Belangrijke opmerkingen
Declaration of interestDr Buitelaar has served as consultant and has been on advisory boards for Eli Lilly, Janssen Cilag BV, UCB, and Shire in the past two years. The other authors have no financial relationships to disclose.


The present study assesses the population prevalence of DSM-IV disorders among native and immigrant children living in low socio-economic status (SES) inner-city neighborhoods in the Netherlands. In the first phase of a two-phase epidemiological design, teachers screened an ethnically diverse sample of 2041 children aged 6–10 years using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). In the second phase, a subsample of 253 children was psychiatrically examined, while their parents were interviewed. In addition, teachers completed a short questionnaire about 10 DSM-IV items. Prevalence was estimated using the best-estimate diagnosis based on parent, child and teacher information. Projected to the total population, 11% of the children had one or more impairing psychiatric disorders, which did not differ between native and non-native children. In the total group a clear relationship was observed between the prevalence of psychiatric disorders and gender, parental psychopathology, peer problems and school problems, but not among all ethnic groups separately. This study suggests that the prevalence of psychiatric disorders among non-treated minority and native children in low SES inner-city neighborhoods does not materially differ. However, associated mechanisms may be influenced by ethnicity.

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