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Prevalence Of Emotional And Behavioral Problems Among Adolescence And Some Risk Factors In Mongolia

Bayarmaa Vanchindorj, Batzorig Bayartsogt, Guljanat Yerlan, Altanzul Narmandakh, Tuya Naidansuren, Soyolmaa Batdelger, Baatarjav Oidovnyam, Chimedsuren Ochir, Nasantsengel Lkhagvasuren


Objectives: To determine emotional and behavioral problems among adolescents and to define risk factors for these emotional and behavioral problems.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted among selected and qualified middle and high school children, their parents and teachers. The “Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire” (SDQ) were employed with the intention to measure psychosocial problems and strengths [prosocial behavior] in children between the ages of 4-10 and adolescents ages 11-17, through a multi-informant methodology. The questionnaire consists of 25 items equally divided across five scales measuring: 1) emotional symptoms; 2) conduct problems; 3) hyperactivity-inattention; 4) peer problems; and 5) prosocial behavior. Except for the prosocial scale, the combined scale [i.e. Total Score] reflects total difficulties, indicating the severity and content of the psychosocial problems. The prosocial scale indicates the amount of prosocial characteristics child displays.  

Results: In the SDQ questionnaires answered by parents, we obtained the following scores: 27.4% for emotional symptoms, 28.2% for conduct disorders, 20.4% for hyperactivity, 81.4% for interpersonal relationships, and 43.3% as the Total Score. In the SDQ questionnaires answered by teachers, we obtained high scorings such as 8.9% for emotional symptoms, 20.2% for conduct disorders, 13.4% for hyperactivity, 47.6% for interpersonal relationships and a Total Score of 33.4%. In the SDQ questionnaires answered by the adolescents themselves, we obtained scorings such as: 10.0% for emotional symptoms, 10.2% for conduct disorders, 18.8% for hyperactivity, 14.6% for interpersonal relationships, and 16.3% as the Total Score.

Conclusion: Mongolian adolescents were found to have emotional and behavioral problems as evidenced by the Total Scores of parents, i.e. 43.3%; by teachers, 33.4%; and self-report 16.3%, respectively. The SDQ confirmed that an adolescent’s age, gender, family environment and living areas will influence their emotional and behavioral well-being. 

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Emotions, Adolescent, Mental Health, Adolescent Behavior

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