International comparisons of behavioral and emotional problems in preschool children: parents' reports from 24 societies

Leslie A. Rescorla, Thomas M. Achenbach, Masha Y. Ivanova, Valerie S. Harder, Laura Otten, Niels Bilenberg, Gudrun Bjarnadottir, Christiane Capron, Sarah S. W. de Pauw, Pedro Dias, Anca Dobrean, Manfred Döpfner, Michel Duyme, Valsamma Eapen, Nese Erol, Elaheh Mohammad Esmaeili, Lourdes Ezpeleta, Alessandra Frigerio, Daniel S. S. Fung, Miguel GonçalvesHalldór Gudmundsson, Suh Fang Jeng, Roma Jusiené, Ah Kim Young, Solvejg Kristensen, Jianghong Liu, Felipe Lecannelier, Patrick W. L. Leung, Bárbara César Machado, Rosario Montirosso, Ja Oh Kyung, Yoon Phaik Ooi, Julia Plück, Rolando Pomalima, Jetishi Pranvera, Klaus Schmeck, Mimoza Shahini, Jaime R. Silva, Zeynep Simsek, Andre Sourander, José Valverde, Jan van der Ende, Karla G. van Leeuwen, Yen Tzu Wu, Sema Yurdusen, Stephen R. Zubrick, Frank C. Verhulst

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

146 Citations (Scopus)


International comparisons were conducted of preschool children's behavioral and emotional problems as reported on the Child Behavior Checklist for Ages 1 1/2-5 by parents in 24 societies (N = 19,850). Item ratings were aggregated into scores on syndromes; Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders-oriented scales; a Stress Problems scale; and Internalizing, Externalizing, and Total Problems scales. Effect sizes for scale score differences among the 24 societies ranged from small to medium (3-12%). Although societies differed greatly in language, culture, and other characteristics, Total Problems scores for 18 of the 24 societies were within 7.1 points of the omnicultural mean of 33.3 (on a scale of 0-198). Gender and age differences, as well as gender and age interactions with society, were all very small (effect sizes < 1%). Across all pairs of societies, correlations between mean item ratings averaged. 78, and correlations between internal consistency alphas for the scales averaged. 92, indicating that the rank orders of mean item ratings and internal consistencies of scales were very similar across diverse societies.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)456-467
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - May 2011


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