Emotional difficulties in seventh grade children in Denmark

Scand J Psychol. 2011 Oct;52(5):433-9. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9450.2011.00896.x. Epub 2011 May 17.


The present study investigates the prevalence of emotional difficulties and quality of life in a sample of 834 children from 56 seventh grade (aged 12-14 years) classes. Data was derived from a study of mental well-being developed by the National Council for Children, Denmark. The sample selection ensured that the children were nationally representative. Data was collected using the Strength and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) and the Health Behaviour in School-aged Children (HBSC). Results indicated that 10.8% of children had concerns regarding emotional difficulties (6.6% definite concern; 4.2% some concern), and that significantly more girls than boys (44 girls and 10 boys) reported this concern. A novel finding was that emotional difficulties were related to children's perception of having low quality of life. Findings furthermore suggested that children's perception of a low home economy, less time spent on leisure activities, and female gender were all associated with emotional difficulties.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Affective Symptoms / diagnosis
  • Affective Symptoms / epidemiology*
  • Affective Symptoms / psychology
  • Child
  • Denmark / epidemiology
  • Family
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Prevalence
  • Quality of Life*
  • Sex Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires