A nationwide study of social-emotional problems in young children in Turkey

Karabekiroglu K., Uslu R., Kapci-Seyitoglu E. G., ÖZBARAN N. B., Oztop D. B., Ozel-Ozcan O., ...More

INFANT BEHAVIOR & DEVELOPMENT, vol.36, no.1, pp.162-170, 2013 (SSCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 36 Issue: 1
  • Publication Date: 2013
  • Doi Number: 10.1016/j.infbeh.2012.11.007
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index (SSCI), Scopus
  • Page Numbers: pp.162-170
  • Eskisehir Osmangazi University Affiliated: Yes


We aimed to assess the prevalence of social-emotional problems of Turkish children in early childhood and to understand their association with various bio-psycho-social risk factors, in order to establish guidelines in planning training programs for parents and professionals. Data from a representative sample of 1507 boys (54.3%) and 1268 girls (45.7%) aged 10-48 months were collected. The primary caregivers (mothers = 91.4%) completed the Brief Infant-Toddler Social and Emotional Assessment (BITSEA), the Brief Symptom Inventory (BSI) and a form designed to gather information about various bio-psycho-social risk factors. Based on the caregiver terms, a total of 1626 children (60.1%) were reported to experience social-emotional problems. However, based on the BITSEA-problem clinical (1.5 SD) cut-off scores, 9.3% (9.1% of boys; 9.5% of girls) of all children were found to experience social-emotional problems. The variables, that showed a significant association with BITSEA-problem scores in pairwise comparisons, were entered in logistic regression analysis to determine the variables that predict the group with scores of above clinical cut-point. Higher total score of BSI of the primary caregiver, being separated from the mother for more than a month, and lower income of the family were found to be significant predictors of social-emotional problems. Caregiver reports highlight that maternal variables of mothers' psychological well-being, education and access to sources of support are closely related to the social-emotional wellbeing of their off-spring. The findings obtained from this study may be used for detection of prioritized domains in terms of management of preventive mental health services. (C) 2012 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.