Assessment of Early Childhood Mental Health in Immigrant and Local Children in Chile

Narea, Marigen; Caqueo-Urizar, Alejandra; Torres-Irribarra, David; Trevino, Ernesto; Flores, Jerome; Gutierrez-Rioseco, Javiera


Little is known about mental health during early childhood and differences in mental health problems between migrant and local preschool children in Chile. This research aimed to study the early mental health of children and disparities in mental health indicators between immigrant and local children in the context of a middle-income country. Parents and teachers assessed immigrant (n = 120) and non-immigrant (n = 383) children between 3 and 4 years old with the Sistema de Evaluacion de Ninos y Adolescentes (Child and Adolescent Evaluation System, SENA). A multivariate analysis of covariance (MANCOVA) was used to study both main and interaction effects while controlling for the clustering of children on center-based care. Results show that immigrant parents tended to report more internalizing problems than locals' parents did in terms of depression, anxiety, and somatic complaints. Also, they reported more attention problems, developmental delay, unusual behavior, rigidity, and isolation in immigrant children. However, teachers' assessments regarding immigrant children were similar to non-immigrant children's evaluations in many cases. Finally, girls presented fewer emotional and behavioral problems than boys. Our study shows the importance of assessing mental health during early childhood, especially in immigrant children, and the difficulty of carrying out this evaluation through different information sources from parents and early childhood teachers.

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Título según WOS: ID WOS:000880533700001 Not found in local WOS DB
Volumen: 16
Número: 1
Editorial: Springer
Fecha de publicación: 2023
Página de inicio: 337
Página final: 356


Notas: ISI