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Family and community predictors of comorbid language, socioemotional and behavior problems at school entry

Hughes, Nathan, Sciberras, Emma and Goldfeld, Sharon 2016, Family and community predictors of comorbid language, socioemotional and behavior problems at school entry, PLoS One, vol. 11, no. 7, Article number: e0158802, pp. 1-11, doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0158802.

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Title Family and community predictors of comorbid language, socioemotional and behavior problems at school entry
Author(s) Hughes, Nathan
Sciberras, EmmaORCID iD for Sciberras, Emma orcid.org/0000-0003-2812-303X
Goldfeld, Sharon
Journal name PLoS One
Volume number 11
Issue number 7
Season Article number: e0158802
Start page 1
End page 11
Total pages 11
Publisher Public Library of Science
Place of publication San Francsico, Calif.
Publication date 2016-07-05
ISSN 1932-6203
Summary OBJECTIVES: To identify the prevalence and family and community-level predictors of comorbid speech-language difficulties and socioemotional and behavioral (SEB) difficulties across a population of children at school entry.

METHODS: The School Entry Health Questionnaire is a parent survey of children's health and wellbeing, completed by all children starting school in Victoria, Australia (N = 53256). It includes parental report of speech-language difficulties, the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (behavior), and numerous family and community variables. Following univariate analysis, family and community risk characteristics were entered into a multinomial logistic regression model to identify the associated relative risk of comorbid speech/language and SEB needs. The influence of experiencing multiple risk factors was also examined.

RESULTS: 20.4% (n = 10,868) began school with either speech-language or SEB difficulties, with 3.1% (n = 1670) experiencing comorbid needs. Five factors predicted comorbidity: the child having witnessed violence; a history of parent mental illness; living in more deprived communities; and the educational attainment of each parent (independently). The relative risk of comorbidity was 6.1 (95% Confidence Interval: 3.9, 9.7) when a child experienced four or more risk factors, compared to those with no risk factors.

CONCLUSIONS: The risk of comorbidity in early childhood is associated with a range of family and community factors, and elevated by the presence of multiple factors. Children growing up in families experiencing multiple, complex needs are therefore at heightened risk of the early development of difficulties likely to impact upon schooling. Early identification of these children offers opportunities for appropriate and timely health and education intervention.
Language eng
DOI 10.1371/journal.pone.0158802
Field of Research 170102 Developmental Psychology and Ageing
170106 Health, Clinical and Counselling Psychology
111714 Mental Health
Socio Economic Objective 920410 Mental Health
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
ERA Research output type C Journal article
Grant ID NHMRC 1037159
Copyright notice ©2016, The Authors
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30087620

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Psychology
Open Access Collection
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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.