Prevalence of Children's Mental Health Problems and the Effectiveness of Population-Level Family Interventions

J Epidemiol. 2015;25(8):507-16. doi: 10.2188/jea.JE20140198.


The prevalence of mental health problems among children and adolescents is of growing importance. Intervening in children's mental health early in life has been shown to be more effective than trying to resolve these problems when children are older. With respect to prevention activities in community settings, the prevalence of problems should be estimated, and the required level of services should be delivered. The prevalence of children's mental health disorders has been reported for many countries. Preventive intervention has emphasized optimizing the environment. Because parents are the primary influence on their children's development, considerable attention has been placed on the development of parent training to strengthen parenting skills. However, a public-health approach is necessary to confirm that the benefits of parent-training interventions lead to an impact at the societal level. This literature review clarifies that the prevalence of mental health problems is measured at the national level in many countries and that population-level parenting interventions can lower the prevalence of mental health problems among children in the community.


Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Child
  • Education, Nonprofessional*
  • Humans
  • Japan / epidemiology
  • Mental Disorders / epidemiology*
  • Mental Disorders / prevention & control*
  • Parenting*
  • Parents / education*
  • Prevalence
  • Program Evaluation