A cross-sectional study was undertaken of psychosocial morbidity among 108 children with chronic epilepsy and their families. Approximately half the children showed evidence of significant psychological disturbance. Neurotic or emotional disturbance was the most common diagnostic category, with similar rates of disturbance among boys and girls; findings not reported previously. Behavioural disturbance was strongly associated with epileptic variables, family factors, individual characteristics of the child and with maternal anxiety about epilepsy. Several factors are responsible for this increase, and further study is needed to elucidate these and to reduce the incidence of psychosocial morbidity among these children.