Anxiety and depressive symptoms have adverse effects on children’s development. The present study investigates the associations of socioeconomic factors as well as maternal emotional health with children’s emotional health status. The data were collected between 2011 and 2015 in the LIFE Child study, a population-based cohort study in Leipzig, Germany. The emotional health status of 1093 children (2.5–11.9 years old) was investigated using the subscale ‘emotional problems’ of the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire. Associations of maternal emotional health, family status, and socioeconomic status (SES) with the emotional health status of children were estimated via regression analyses. 21.13% of the participating children were assigned to the ‘risk’ group for emotional problems. The results furthermore revealed that children of mothers reporting more depressive symptoms, children living in single-parent families, and children of families with lower SES scored higher in the emotional problems scale. When considering the different indicators of SES (parental education, occupational status, and monthly net income) separately, only income showed significant associations with children’s emotional health status. The prevalence of emotional problems in children in Leipzig, a city in East Germany, appears to be higher than the previously reported German average. Maternal depressive symptoms, single-parent families, lower SES, and especially lower income can be seen as risk factors for children’s emotional health.
European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry – Springer Journals
Published: Sep 23, 2017
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