Research review: A meta-analysis of the international prevalence and comorbidity of mental disorders in children between 1 and 7 years.
J Child Psychol Psychiatry. 2020 May 20;:
Authors: Vasileva M, Graf RK, Reinelt T, Petermann U, Petermann F
BACKGROUND: Children younger than 7 years can develop mental disorders that might manifest differently than in older children or adolescents. However, little is known about the prevalence of mental disorders at this early age.
METHODS: We systematically searched the literature in the databases Web of Science, PsycINFO, PSYNDEX, MEDLINE, and Embase to identify epidemiological studies of community samples published between 2006 and 2020. A series of meta-analyses was conducted to estimate the pooled worldwide prevalence of mental disorders in general, specific mental disorders, and comorbidity in young children.
RESULTS: A total of ten epidemiological studies reporting data on N = 18,282 children (12-83 months old) from eight countries met the inclusion criteria. The pooled prevalence of mental disorders in general was 20.1%, 95% CI [15.7, 25.4]. Most common disorders were oppositional defiant disorder (4.9%, 95% CI [2.5, 9.5]) and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (4.3%, 95% CI [2.5, 7.2]). The prevalence of any anxiety disorders was 8.5%, 95% CI [5.2, 13.5], and of any depressive disorders was 1.1%, 95% CI [0.8, 1.6]. Comorbidity was estimated at 6.4%, 95% CI [1.3, 54.0].
CONCLUSIONS: The literature search reveals that the epidemiology of mental disorders in children younger than 7 years is still a neglected area of research. The findings also indicate that there are a significant number of young children suffering from mental disorders who need appropriate age-adapted treatment.
PMID: 32433792 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]