Received: 5 October 2017 Accepted: 25 January 2018
How can gender affect psychopathology
in Lebanese school-age children?
American University of Beirut
Professor,American Universityof Beirut, Faculty
of Arts & Sciences, Department of Education,
Bliss Street, P.O. Box11-0236, Beirut 11072020,
Lebanese Council for Scientific Research (CNRS),
Grant/Award Number: 102660.
This study investigated the extent to which gender differences in
coping, school and family environments could account for variation
in psychopathology among school-age children. Participants were
665 middle school students. Results showed no gender differences
for PTSD. Females scored higher on emotional problems and proso-
cial behavior whereas males scored higher on conduct problems.
ADHD was higher among children with LD, whereas emotional and
conduct problems were higher in females with LD. Emotional and
conduct problems increased more by age in females. Gender differ-
ences were found in various patterns of predictor–outcome rela-
tions. While emotion-focused coping was associated with emotional
and peer problems in both genders, it was associated with conduct
problems in females only. Problem-focused coping was positively
associated with prosocial behaviors in females whereas it was neg-
atively associated with peer problems in males. In addition, fam-
ily environment was negatively associated with emotional problems
and PTSD symptomatology in females, whereas school environment
was negatively associated with emotional problems in males. Clinical
and research implications were discussed.
Gender Differences, Psychopathology, School environment
Theoretical accounts in personality and developmental psychology emphasize the complex transaction of antecedent
conditions, levels of adjustment or vulnerability, and risk and protective factors in the etiology of negative developmen-
tal outcomes in children. One potential avenue for advancement may exist with a specific focus on gender differences
in psychopathology, particularly posttraumatic stress disorder and internalizing and externalizing behaviors, although
complete support for a gender distinction has not been conclusive (Olff et al., 2007).
Gender differences in child and adolescent psychopathology mainly fall into two main dimensions, namely, exter-
nalizing and internalizing problems (Rutter, Caspi, & Moffitt, 2003). Emerging evidence suggests that patterns of
posttraumatic symptoms cohere along these two dimensions (Miller & Resick, 2007). Children with high levels of
externalizing symptoms are more likely to develop posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) because they may lack
the emotion regulation and coping skills necessary for managing their posttrauma reactions. As for internalizing
2018 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. wileyonlinelibrary.com/journal/pits Psychol Schs. 2018;55:404–418.