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Profiles of children's social-emotional health at school entry and associated income, gender and language inequalities: a cross-sectional population-based study in British Columbia, Canada

Thomson, Kimberly, Guhn, Martin, Richardson, Chris G, Ark, Tavinder K and Shoveller, Jean 2017, Profiles of children's social-emotional health at school entry and associated income, gender and language inequalities: a cross-sectional population-based study in British Columbia, Canada, BMJ open, vol. 7, no. 7, pp. 1-10, doi: 10.1136/bmjopen-2016-015353.

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Title Profiles of children's social-emotional health at school entry and associated income, gender and language inequalities: a cross-sectional population-based study in British Columbia, Canada
Author(s) Thomson, KimberlyORCID iD for Thomson, Kimberly orcid.org/0000-0002-4508-2463
Guhn, Martin
Richardson, Chris G
Ark, Tavinder K
Shoveller, Jean
Journal name BMJ open
Volume number 7
Issue number 7
Article ID e015353
Start page 1
End page 10
Total pages 10
Publisher BMJ Publishing Group
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2017-07
ISSN 2044-6055
Keyword(s) adolescent psychiatry
epidemiology
impulse control disorders
mental health
mood disorders
British Columbia
child development
child health
emotions
social behavior
social skills
Summary OBJECTIVES: Early identification of distinct patterns of child social-emotional strengths and vulnerabilities has the potential to improve our understanding of child mental health and well-being; however, few studies have explored natural groupings of indicators of child vulnerability and strengths at a population level. The purpose of this study was to examine heterogeneity in the patterns of young children's social and emotional health and investigate the extent to which sociodemographic characteristics were associated.

DESIGN: Cross-sectional study based on a population-level cohort.

SETTING: All kindergarten children attending public schools between 2004 and 2007 in British Columbia (BC), Canada.

PARTICIPANTS: 35 818 kindergarten children (age of 5 years) with available linked data from the Early Development Instrument (EDI), BC Ministry of Health and BC Ministry of Education.

OUTCOME MEASURE: We used latent profile analysis (LPA) to identify distinct profiles of social-emotional health according to children's mean scores across eight social-emotional subscales on the EDI, a teacher-rated measure of children's early development. Subscales measured children's overall social competence, responsibility and respect, approaches to learning, readiness to explore, prosocial behaviour, anxiety, aggression and hyperactivity.

RESULTS: Six social-emotional profiles were identified: (1) overall high social-emotional functioning, (2) inhibited-adaptive (3) uninhibited-adaptive, (4) inhibited-disengaged, (5) uninhibited-aggressive/hyperactive and (6) overall low social-emotional functioning. Boys, children with English as a second language (ESL) status and children with lower household income had higher odds of membership to the lower social-emotional functioning groups; however, this association was less negative among boys with ESL status.

CONCLUSIONS: Over 40% of children exhibited some vulnerability in early social-emotional health, and profiles were associated with sociodemographic factors. Approximately 9% of children exhibited multiple co-occurring vulnerabilities. This study adds to our understanding of population-level distributions of children's early social-emotional health and identifies profiles of strengths and vulnerabilities that can inform future intervention efforts.
Language eng
DOI 10.1136/bmjopen-2016-015353
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2017, the authors
Free to Read? Yes
Use Rights Creative Commons Attribution non-commercial licence
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30113335

Document type: Journal Article
Collections: School of Psychology
Open Access Collection
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