Objectives: To examine parent perception of child behaviour problems and parenting stress in Hong Kong, and to assess the extent to which they are related to socio-demographic factors and the availability of social support.
Design: Cross-sectional survey by using a questionnaire.
Setting: Maternal and Child Health Centres, Hong Kong.
Participants: Parents of children aged 4 years who were registered with Maternal and Child Health Centres and were living in Hong Kong between September 2002 and February 2003.
Main outcome measures: Child behaviour problems and parenting stress.
Results: A total of 1009 questionnaires were returned giving a participation rate of 67.0%. About one tenth of parents were experiencing difficulties with their children's behaviour. Parenting stress and children's behaviour problems were associated with presence or absence of social support. Parenting stress was also associated with household income.
Conclusions: The prevalence of child behaviour problems in Hong Kong is comparable with international figures. Intervention programmes should be targeted at parents who experience difficulties with their children's behaviour and parenting.