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Risk factors for child mental health problems in Lithuania: The role of parental nationality

Abstract :
We compare the mental health status of children who reside in Lithuania with parents who are either Lithuanian nationals or non-Lithuanian nationals.
Data were drawn from the School Child Mental Health Europe survey (SCMHE), a cross-sectional survey of school children aged 6–11 years. A total of 1152 Lithuanian children participated, among them 11.7% from a non-Lithuanian family. Child mental health was assessed using the Dominique Interactive (DI) and the parent- and teacher Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). Parental attitudes were evaluated, and socio-demographics were collected.
Overall 26.7% of non-Lithuanian versus 17.2% of Lithuanian children reported having an internalizing disorder (p = 0.01) mainly due to separation anxiety (16.4% versus 10.2%, p = 0.04). Odds ratio (OR) for child-reported internalizing disorders was 1.86 (95% CI = 1.17–2.96) once adjusted for other factors including being a girl, to be younger, parental unemployment and low caring and low autonomy parental attitudes which were associated with greater odds of internalizing disorders. In addition, 31.9% of non-Lithuanian reported suicidal thoughts versus 22.0% of Lithuanian children p = .02); OR = 1.60 (95% CI = 1.04–2.46) once adjusted for single parent, parental unemployment, parental alcohol problems and overreactivity attitude.
Being a non-national minority in Lithuania is a risk factor for child mental health. These findings suggest that further studies are needed to inform local policy-makers on targeted prevention and intervention programs in these children.
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Submitted on : Monday, February 3, 2020 - 12:07:34 PM
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Viviane Kovess-Masféty, Sigita Lesinskiene, Mathilde M. Husky, Anders Boyd, Phuong Ha, et al.. Risk factors for child mental health problems in Lithuania: The role of parental nationality. Comprehensive Psychiatry, WB Saunders, 2017, pp.15-22. ⟨10.1016/j.comppsych.2016.10.010⟩. ⟨hal-02464562⟩



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