A Longitudinal Study of Emotional and Behavioral Problems among Malaysian School Children

Idayu Badilla Idris, Jane Barlow, Alan Dolan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

BACKGROUND: Emotional and behavioral problems (EBD) or mental health problems in children and adolescents are an important public health issue, but there has been no evaluation to date of the extent of such problems in near-developed countries. This study evaluated the prevalence and stability of EBD among children in Malaysia. METHODS: This research comprises a longitudinal population-based study that measured the prevalence and 6-month stability of EBD in children aged seven to eight years and thirteen to fourteen years attending public schools in Malaysia based on parents, teachers and children's (aged 13 to 14 years) report of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) at baseline and 6 months later. FINDINGS: The prevalence of EBD in Malaysian school children was 9.3% for teacher-report, 8.5% for parent-report and 3.9% for child-report. There was no significance difference in the prevalence of emotional and behavioral problems over six-months for all informants, except for teacher-report Emotional and Conduct problems scores which increased significantly and child-report Total Difficulties and Emotional problems scores which decreased significantly (p < 0.05). CONCLUSIONS: This study shows that the prevalence of EBD among Malaysian children is almost similar to the Western countries and stable over a 6-month period. These findings suggest the need for policy makers in near-developed countries to provide services aimed at preventing EBD and treating children identified as having such problems.

Original languageEnglish
JournalAnnals of global health
Volume85
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 7 Mar 2019

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Longitudinal Studies
Cross-Sectional Studies
Malaysia
Developed Countries
Problem Behavior
Administrative Personnel
Mental Health
Public Health
Parents
Research
Population

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)

Cite this

A Longitudinal Study of Emotional and Behavioral Problems among Malaysian School Children. / Idris, Idayu Badilla; Barlow, Jane; Dolan, Alan.

In: Annals of global health, Vol. 85, No. 1, 07.03.2019.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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