More than one in 10 pre-school
children may be experiencing early mental problems that are likely to disrupt
their lives, a new study suggests.
Scientists were shocked to discover large numbers of youngsters under five meeting the criteria for mental and behavioural disorders seen in school-age children, adolescents and adults.In more than 11% of cases, the children suffered symptoms bad enough to affect their daily lives.
The kinds of problems included attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), serious disruptive behaviour, depression, and anxiety. Psychiatrists in the United States rated 307 pre-school children by asking their parents to fill in questionnaires. The questions were carefully designed to spot tell-tale behavioural traits commonly associated with different kinds of mental illness and disability.
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