Association of Mental Disorders and Consultation with Family Members and Friends in Children and Adolescents: The CASPIAN-IV Study

Mohammad Esmaeil Motlagh, Roya Kelishadi, Mostafa Qorbani, Mojtaba Keikha, Asal Ataie‑Jafari, Gelayol Ardalan, Ramin Heshmat, Mohsen Jari

Abstract


Background: Behavioral disorders are common in the pediatric age group. This study aims to assess the relationship between the frequency of behavioral and mental disorders and counseling
with family members and friends in a representative sample of Iranian children and adolescents.

Methods: In this nationwide study, 14880 school students, aged 6–18 years, were selected by cluster and stratified multi‑stage sampling method from 30 provinces in Iran. The World Health
Organization Global School‑based Health Survey questionnaire was used.

Results: Overall, 13486 students (49.2% girls) with the mean (standard deviation) age of 12.47 (3.36) years completed the study. According to the students’ self‑report, 56.1% of boys
and 42.2% of girls shared their problems with their fathers. All behavioral disorders were less prevalent in children and adolescents who consulted with their father compared with those who did not (P < 0.001). In addition, 84.6% of boys and 84.0% of girls shared their problem with their mother. All behavioral disorders were less prevalent in children and adolescents who consulted with their mother compared with those who did not (P < 0.001). 45.6% of boys and 44.8% of girls shared their problem with their brother or sister. Some behavioral disorders were less prevalent in children and adolescents who consulted with their brother or sister (P < 0.01); however, the prevalence was not statistically different for most disorders (P > 0.05). Moreover, 60.4% of boys and 66.0% of girls shared their problems with their friends. The prevalence of most behavioral
disorders was lower in those who consulted with their friends (P < 0.001).

Conclusions: Children and adolescents should be encouraged to consult with their parents and friends about their problems.
Parents should offer their children an opportunity to express their views and wishes about their problems.

Keywords: Children and adolescents, consultation, mental health


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