Objectives: To analyse socio-economic and health status factors associated with poor mental health in a representative sample of children 4 to 14 years old in Catalonia.
Methods: The data comes from a subsample of the Catalan Health Interview Survey 2006 (CHIS) (n=1821). Proxy-respondents, mainly mothers, answered the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). The SDQ dimension scores and the Total difficulties score were analysed by socio-demographics and health status factors. Multivariate linear regression models were fitted to analyse the influence of socio-economic and health status factors on mental health.
Results: In general, being in a disadvantaged family, single-parent families, a family whose mother had lower level of education, and those children reporting physical health problems, have been factors associated with worse child mental health in most of SDQ dimension scores. Factors associated with Total difficulties were, being a girl (beta coefficient: -1.6), from disadvantaged social classes (group IV-V: 1.6), at lower level of maternal education (mother's educational primary level or less: 1.2), being in a single-parent family (1.5), and reporting health problems (3 or more health problems: 3.9).
Conclusions: Children from disadvantaged families, and single-parent families are at higher risk of worse mental health than their counterparts in the advantaged groups. The study contributes to collecting information for monitoring and approaching mental health in children.
Copyright © 2009 Asociación Española de Pediatría. Published by Elsevier Espana. All rights reserved.