class ten_Problems and competencies reported by parents of Vietnamese children in Hanoi

Class ten_Problems and competencies reported by parents of Vietnamese children in Hanoi

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The magazine publisher is the copyright holder of this article and it is reproduced with permission. Further reproduction of this article in violation of the copyright is prohibited. ABSTRACT Objective: To determine the distribution of behavioral and emotional problems and competencies among a sample of Vietnamese children aged 4 through 18 years living in Hanoi. Method: A representative community sample of 1,526 children and adolescents was selected from 2 precincts in Hanoi. Problems and competencies were assessed with the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL). Results: Vietnamese children had lower mean raw scores than U.S. norms on the CBCL's Total, Externalizing, Internalizing, and Competence scales. Boys were reported to have more externalizing problems and girls more internalizing problems. Girls' levels of internalizing problems increased significantly with age. Conclusion: The lower levels of problems and competencies reported in Vietnamese children may represent differences in the prevalence of psychiatric disorders, in parental perceptions of what constitutes deviant behavior, or in parental comfort with reporting psychopathological behaviors. Further research is needed to clarify the relationship between the reported behavioral and emotional problems of Vietnamese children and the presence of psychiatric disorders. From a clinical perspective, the study's results suggest that levels of problems and competencies may vary significantly between different ethnic and cultural groups. Specific clinical cutoffs used to identify children requiring further psychiatric assessment need to be established separately for different ethnic groups. J. Am. Acad. Child Adolesc. Psychiatry, 1999 , 38 ( 6 ):731-737. Key Words: behavior problems, emotional problems, psychiatric disorders, Vietnam. The children of Vietnam have been, and continue to be, exposed to much trauma and adversity. Decades of war, disastrous postwar economic policies, and the U.S. trade embargo left Vietnam impoverished and unable to meet the basic nutritional needs of its young and rapidly growing population (Duiker, 1985; National Institute of Nutrition of Vietnam, 1993; San, 1991). Widespread infectious diseases, and a lack of effective antibiotics and vaccines, left Vietnamese children vulnerable to the direct effects of insults to their developing central nervous systems and to the indirect effects of parental loss and morbidity (Ahn and Tram, 1995; UNICEF, 1995). Economic reform and the introduction of a market economy have led to a gradual improvement in Vietnam's standard of living, but rapid socioeconomic change has also brought new problems. As job seekers leave the countryside for Vietnam's swelling cities, the protective structure of the traditional Vietnamese extended family is undermined, leading to an expanding population of poorly supervised young people and street children and a sharp rise in rates of alcohol and drug abuse, conduct disorder, and human immunodeficiency virus infection (Nhan, 1995; Trong, 1995). Poverty, poor nutrition, chronic illness, and parental separation and loss would appear to place the children of Vietnam at high risk for the
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Class ten_Problems and competencies reported by parents of Vietnamese children in Hanoi

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