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Revista chilena de neuro-psiquiatría

versión On-line ISSN 0717-9227


DE LA BARRA, Flora; TOLEDO, Virginia  y  RODRIGUEZ, Jorge. Mental Health Study in Two Cohorts of Schoolchildren from West Santiago. I: Prevalence and Follow Up of Behavioral and Cognitive Problems . Rev. chil. neuro-psiquiatr. [online]. 2002, vol.40, n.1, pp.9-21. ISSN 0717-9227.

Objectives . Unmet needs in child mental health assitance call for epidemiological longitudinal studies to be used for effective preventive programs. This study aimed to obtain prevalence of behavioral problems in first to sixth grade scoolchildren and to study interater agreement. Method. A sample of 1279 first graders and 535 children that remained in the same schools up to six grade and did not fail a grade, was assessed by ratings from teachers and parents' questionnaires in first and 6th grade, added to self esteem ratings by children in 6th grade. Results. Prevalence of behavioral problems by teachers was over 40%, while parents found near 10%. Low self esteem rated by children was intermediate. Agreement between parents, children's and teachers'scores was low, but produced complementary information. The follow up sample had less behavioral problems than the children not available for reassessment. Children with behavioral problems had higher retention rates. According to teachers, boys had more disobedient / agressive behavior, cognitive deficit, hyperactivity and concentration problems than girls. Prevalence rated by different teachers remained stable from 1st to 6th grade,while parents found less problems in 6th grade. Conclusions. The first longitudinal study of chilean schoolchildren's mental health was done, showing high prevalence and persistence of behavioral, emotional and cognitive problems according to teachers between first and 6th grade of primary schooling, while parents rate a lower prevalence and better outcome. Implications for the development of preventive educational and mental health preventive programs are discussed

Palabras clave : developmental psychopatholgy; child psychiatric epidemiology; behavior problems.

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