J Korean Acad Child Adolesc Psychiatry.  2009 Jun;20(2):76-81.

Association of Psychosocial Factors in Developing Childhood Depression and ADHD in a Community Low Income Family Children

  • 1Seoul National Mental Hospital, Seoul, Korea.
  • 2Department of Psychiatry, Konkuk University School of Medicine, Seoul, Korea. jhnha@naver.com
  • 3Seoul Sungbukgu Health Center, Seoul, Korea.


OVJECTIVES: As the attention devoted to children's mental health increases, medical costs and burdens mount as well. In the present study, we evaluated the association between socioeconomic status (SES) and major child psychiatric symptoms.
The subjects of this study were children of recruited from a mental health screening program in the Seoul Sungbuk mental health center over the course of 3 months. To establish the SES of each child, we collected data about each child's medical insurance, years of parental education, household income, family structure and housing. 149 children& parents completed questionnaires including the Childhood Depression Inventory (CDI) and the Korean Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder Rating Scale (K-ARS).
The mean K-ARS-P score was 12.1+/-11.1 and the suspected prevalence of ADHD was 20.8% (n=31). The mean CDI score was 12.9+/-7.9, and the prevalence of suspected depression was 16.8% (25). Depressive symptoms and ADHD symptoms were both more severe than those observed in a previous epidemiologic study in Korea. Depressive symptoms were more closely associated with family SES status.
SES status is one of the most important risk factors in the development of major child psychiatric symptoms. In our study we found that depressive symptoms in particular were most tightly associated with psychosocial factors. Evaluation of the risk factors, early screening and intervention for low SES children would be valuable mental health management tactics to implement in a community mental health system.


Low Income; SES; ADHD; Depression
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