National Origin and Behavioural Problems of Toddlers: The Role of Family Risk Factors and Maternal Immigration Characteristics

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In many societies the prevalence of behavioural problems in school-aged children varies by national origin. We examined the association between national origin and behavioural problems in 1A1/2-year-old children. Data on maternal national origin and the Child Behavior Checklist for toddlers (n = 4943) from a population-based cohort in the Netherlands were used. Children from various non-Dutch backgrounds all had a significantly higher mean behavioural problem score. After adjustment for family risk factors, like family income and maternal psychopathology, the differences attenuated, but remained statistically significant. Non-Dutch mothers with immigration risk factors, such as older age at immigration or no good Dutch language skills, reported significantly more behavioural problems in their offspring. In conclusion, the present study indicated more behavioural problems in immigrant toddlers from various backgrounds. Researchers and policymakers aiming to tackle disparities in behavioural problems should take into account that risks associated with national origin are intertwined with unfavourable family and immigration characteristics.
Original languageUndefined/Unknown
Pages (from-to)1151-1164
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Abnormal Child Psychology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 2010

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