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Developmental pathways of mental health problems from childhood through adolescence

Tildelt: kr 2,9 mill.

The aim of the present project is to examine developmental pathways of mental health problems among children included in the Bergen Child Study (BCS) (www.uib.no/bib). In the first step, all children attending 2. to 4. grade in the Bergen and Sund munici palities in Norway in 2002 (n=9652) were included in the first wave of the study. All parents and teachers were asked to fill in a questionnaire, and 97 % of the teachers and 74% of the parents participated. Parents of children scoring above cut-off on pr e-determined criteria (screen-positives) and a random sample of screen negatives participated in a structured psychiatric interview (DAWBA). 1080 parents were interviewed, with an attrition rate from Step 1 of about 50%. 139 fulfilled the criteria of a di agnosis. 122 of these children and a random sample of children without a diagnosis (299) were invited into a case-control study in Step 3. 329 parents and children were assessed according to a semi-structured clinical interview (KiddieSads-PL). The childr en were also assessed on a range of cognitive and motor tests, they gave a self evaluation of their own competence and went through a short physical evaluation. We apply for support to perform follow-up studies of the BCS children. The main follow-up s tudy will include the same population as included in Step 1, i.e. all children attending 5. to 7. grade in 2005/2006 (Wawe 2). This will make it possible to study developmental pathways of mental health problems in a whole population of children, and more specific problems related to the psychological impact of puberty. Furthermore, it will give the oportunity to detect new problems associated with puberty. A second group of studies will include selected, well characterised groups of children: 1) children with an autism spectrum disorder; 2) children with behavioural problems; and 3) children with chronic illness


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