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Prevalence and Predictors of Behavioral Problems in Healthy Swiss Preschool Children Over a One Year Period

Type of publication Peer-reviewed
Publikationsform Original article (peer-reviewed)
Author Stülb Kerstin, Messerli-Bürgy Nadine, Kakebeeke Tanja H., Arhab Amar, Zysset Annina E., Leeger-Aschmann Claudia S., Schmutz Einat A., Meyer Andrea H., Kriemler Susi, Jenni Oskar G., Puder Jardena J., Munsch Simone,
Project Children’s stress regulation capacity and mental health: the influence of parental factors and stress exposure
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Original article (peer-reviewed)

Journal Child Psychiatry & Human Development
Volume (Issue) 50(3)
Page(s) 439 - 448
Title of proceedings Child Psychiatry & Human Development
DOI 10.1007/s10578-018-0849-x


Behavioral problems impair children's health but prevalence rates are scarce and persistence rates vary due to divergence in age ranges, assessment methods and varying environmental factors. The aim of this study was to assess prevalence rates of behavioral problems, their persistence over a 1-year period, and the impact of child- and parent-related factors on behavioral problems. 555 2-6-year-old healthy preschool children were assessed at baseline and 382 of the initial sample at 1-year follow-up. Assessment included questionnaires concerning behavioral problems and their potential predictors (e.g. socio-economic status or parenting style). Altogether, nearly 7% of these children showed clinically relevant behavioral problems, and 3% showed persistent symptoms. Low SES, inconsistent parenting and corporal punishment were positively associated with behavioral problems. The prevalence rates of behavioral problems in Swiss preschoolers are similar to other European countries, but persistence is still rather low within preschool age. These findings need further confirmation in longitudinal studies.