The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), a valid and reliable instrument for measuring children's mental health, is available in parent- and teacher versions, making it an ideal tool for assessing behavioural and emotional problems in young children. However, few studies have evaluated inter-parent agreement on the SDQ, and in most studies on SDQ agreement, parent scores are either provided by only one parent or have been combined into one parent score. Furthermore, studies on SDQ inter-rater agreement usually only reflect degree of correlation, leaving the agreement between measurements unknown. The aim of the present study was therefore to examine both degree of correlation and agreement between parent and teacher SDQ reports, in a community sample of preschool-aged children in Sweden.
Data were obtained from the Children and Parents in Focus trial. The sample comprised 4,469 children 3-5-years-old. Mothers, fathers and preschool teachers completed the SDQ as part of the routine health check-ups at Child Health Centres. Inter-rater agreement was measured using Pearson correlation coefficient and intraclass correlation (ICC).
Results revealed poor/fair agreement between parent and teacher ratings (ICC 0.25-0.54) and good/excellent agreement between mother and father ratings (ICC 0.66-0.76). The highest level of agreement between parents and teachers was found for the hyperactivity and peer problem subscales, whereas the strongest agreement between parents was found for the hyperactivity and conduct subscales.
Low inter-rater agreement between parent and teacher ratings suggests that information from both teachers and parents is important when using the SDQ as a method to identify mental health problems in preschool children. Although mothers and fathers each provide unique information about their child's behaviour, good inter-parent agreement indicates that a single parent informant may be sufficient and simplify data collection.
The purpose of the study was to describe school personnel's experiences of caring for youth with diabetes type 1.
A qualitative design was chosen for this study. Data were collected with individual interviews that were subjected to inductive qualitative content analysis. The sample consisted of 24 school personnel (teachers, principals and school nurses) from Swedish schools. All had experience with youth aged 6 to 18?years old with diabetes type 1.
School personnel experienced caring for youth with diabetes type 1 as "Being facilitators in a challenging context" and described establishing trusting relationships, finding strategies to support self-care, feeling uncertain and incapable in need of education, and dealing with unclear responsibility.
School personnel (teachers, principals and school nurses) are key professionals supporting youth with diabetes type 1 and self-care in school. Lack of education and unclear responsibility created feelings of uncertainty and insecurity for school personnel and a need for mandatory education of school personnel regarding T1DM and self-care, including legislation was identified.
Mandatory education should be provided for all school personnel regarding diabetes type 1, self-care and current legislation. A liason position in form of a nurse specialist should manage the education.
Indoor microbial toxicity is suspected to cause some building-related symptoms, but supporting epidemiological data are lacking.
We examined whether the in vitro toxicity of indoor samples from school buildings was associated with work-related health symptoms (building-related symptoms, BRS).
Administrators of the Helsinki City Real Estate Department selected 15 schools for the study, and a questionnaire on symptoms connected to work was sent to the teachers in the selected schools for voluntary completion. The cellular toxicity of classroom samples was determined by testing substances extracted from wiped indoor dust and by testing microbial biomass that was cultured on fallout plates. Boar sperm cells were used as indicator cells, and motility loss was the indicator for toxic effects. The effects were expressed as the half maximal effective concentration (EC50) at which >50% of the exposed boar sperm cells were immobile compared to vehicle control.
Completed symptom questionnaires were received from 232 teachers [median age, 43 years; 190 (82.3%) women] with a median time of 6 years working at their school. Samples from their classrooms were available and were assessed for cellular toxicity. The Poisson regression model showed that the impact of extracts of surface-wiped school classroom dust on teacher work-related BRS was 2.8-fold (95% CI: 1.6-4.9) higher in classrooms with a toxic threshold EC50 of 6µgml(-1) versus classrooms with insignificant EC50 values (EC50 >50µgml(-1)); P
Teachers are at high risk of stress-related disorders. This study aimed to examine the occurrence of burnout in a sample of Swedish school-teachers, to test a combined measure of three burnout dimensions on the individual level, to characterize associations between burnout and factors encountered during work and leisure time, and to explore any differences between the genders.
A questionnaire of occupational, sociodemographic and life-style factors was answered by 490 teachers in school years 4-9. Outcome measures were (a) the single burnout dimensions of exhaustion, cynicism and professional efficacy (Maslach Burnout Inventory-General Survey), and (b) a combined measure based on high or low values in the three dimensions. The combined measure was used to stratify the study population into four levels (0-3) of burnout. Multivariable Poisson regression was applied on level 2?+?3 vs. level 0?+?1, for variables that we considered as relevant risk factors for burn out.
Half of the teachers reported low values in all three dimensions (level 0), whereas 15 were classified as having high burnout in at least two out of the three dimensions (level 2?+?3), and 4?% in all three dimensions (level 3). Almost all psychosocial factors were incrementally more unfavourably reported through the rising levels of burnout, and so were dissatisfaction with the computer workstation, pain, sleep problems and lack of personal recovery. There was no association between gender and rising levels of overall burnout (p?>?0.30). Low self-efficacy, poor leadership, high job demands and teaching in higher grades were the variables most clearly associated with burnout in multivariable Poisson regression.
Even if circa 50?% of the teachers appear do well with respect to burnout, the results points to the need of implementing multifaceted countermeasures that may serve to reduce burnout.
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In 2008, many Western countries faced a great economic recession, the result of which was increased unemployment and reduced public expenditure.
This article focuses on changes in the self-reported mental and physical health and health symptoms of the remaining employees of Icelandic municipalities who worked within the educational system and the care service during the economic recession. We examine gender differences in health and differences between downsized workplaces and workplaces where no downsizing occurred and differences between workplaces with heavy workload and light workload.
The study is based on a balanced panel online survey and focus groups.
The main finding is that both the mental and physical health of employees deteriorated year by year between 2010, 2011 and 2013 in all workplaces although the downsized workplaces and workplaces with heavy workloads fared worse. At the same time, public expenditure on the health care system was reduced.
We hope that our results encourage further studies in the field and that they will be taken into account when dealing with prevention and rehabilitation initiatives.
The aim of this study was to examine children's perception of their agency in different relationship contexts. Historically, most studies conducted in Sweden concerning children's agency, in relation to their self-efficacy and perceptions of their effectiveness as agents, have been carried out in school situations or other institutional organizations. Past research has shown that children'sagency has positive links to health, school achievement and/or adjustment. Method: Interviews were conducted with 103 10-year-old Swedish children to examine three relationship contexts: parent-child, teacher-pupil, and peer relations. Vignettes about the different contexts were presented to the children and their answers were analysed with thematic analysis. Results: The results show that children think of their agency differently depending upon which relationship context they find themselves in. Most perceived agency are found insituations with peers, and children perceive they have the least agency with teachers. In situations with parents, children think they would react with more resistance than with peers and teachers. It is mainly with other children that they would show assertiveness and try to find asolution together, while they would be more emotional and perceive less power with adults. Conclusion: We conclude that children make adistinction in their perception of agency depending upon the relationship context. These findings can be relevant for helping children receive more agency in all contexts, which might have apositive impact on health and adjustment.
Directive and nondirective social support in the workplace - is this social support distinction important for subjective health complaints, job satisfaction, and perception of job demands and job control?
Social support is associated with well-being and positive health outcomes. However, positive outcomes of social support might be more dependent on the way support is provided than the amount of support received. A distinction can be made between directive social support, where the provider resumes responsibility, and nondirective social support, where the receiver has the control. This study examined the relationship between directive and nondirective social support, and subjective health complaints, job satisfaction and perception of job demands and job control.
A survey was conducted among 957 Norwegian employees, working in 114 private kindergartens (mean age 40.7 years, SD = 10.5, 92.8% female), as part of a randomized controlled trial. This study used only baseline data. A factor analysis of the Norwegian version of the Social Support Inventory was conducted, identifying two factors: nondirective and directive social support. Hierarchical regression analyses were then performed.
Nondirective social support was related to fewer musculoskeletal and pseudoneurological complaints, higher job satisfaction, and the perception of lower job demands and higher job control. Directive social support had the opposite relationship, but was not statistically significant for pseudoneurological complaints.
It appears that for social support to be positively related with job characteristics and subjective health complaints, it has to be nondirective. Directive social support was not only without any association, but had a significant negative relationship with several of the variables. Nondirective social support may be an important factor to consider when aiming to improve the psychosocial work environment.
Clinicaltrials.gov: NCT02396797. Registered 23 March 2015.
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As the Norwegian society, and thereby the kindergartens, have become more multicultural, the need for cultivating teachers capable of operating in an ever diversified and global world is highlighted as an important educational strategy within teacher education. The purpose of the specific intercultural program in kindergarten teacher education discussed in this article refers to competences needed as a professional teacher in a multicultural kindergarten. Teachers often have various assumptions and beliefs taken for granted. Therefore, reflexivity appears in intercultural education as a crucial asset. However, the article argues that the notion of self-contemplation and self-reflection that can give the subject freedom as a thinking being needs to be challenged. Questioning beliefs and assumptions includes an examination of one's emotional experiences, values and perspectives. This examination can threaten one's core beliefs and create powerful feelings such as anger, shame or resentment. Introducing the concept of disorienting dilemmas, the article problematizes the rationalist intellectual orientation in teacher education and discusses the need to focus on intercultural experiences as sensuous, intellectual and affective. The article illustrates some disorienting dilemmas with narratives from students who have attended the program. Finally, the article considers the conditions and pedagogical means that might support a more holistic approach to learning in intercultural experiences.
There is a high risk that young children who show early signs of mental health problems develop symptoms in the same or overlapping areas some years later. The Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ) is widely used to screen externalizing and internalizing problems early in life. In Sweden 80-90% of all children aged 1-5 years go to preschool and preschool is thus an appropriate context for finding early signs of mental health problems among children.
This study is part of a longitudinal project too investigate the frequency of emotional and behavioural problems for children between 1 and 5 years of age in Sweden. The SDQ including the impairment supplement questions were rated by preschool teachers too establish Swedish norms for SDQ in preschool children.
The sample involved 815 children with a mean age of 42 months (SD = 16, range 13-71 months). 195 children were followed longitudinally for three years. There were significant differences between boys and girls on all subscales except for the Emotional subscale. The prevalence of behavioural problems was similar to other that in European countries, except for Prosocial behaviour, which was rated lower, and Conduct problems, rated higher. Swedish children were estimated to have more problems in the preschool setting, scored by preschool teachers. The development of behaviour over time differed for the different subscales of SDQ.
The teacher version of the SDQ, for 2-4 year-olds, can be used as a screening instrument to identify early signs of emotional distress/behavioural problems in young children. Preschool teachers seem to be able to identify children with problematic behaviour with the use of SDQ at an early age. The development of behaviour over time differs for the different subscales of SDQ. The Swedish norms for SDQ are to a large extent, similar to findings from other European countries.
Cites: Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2014 Mar;48(3):209-12 PMID 24317152
Evidence-based methods to identify behavioural problems among children are not regularly used within the Swedish Child healthcare. A new procedure was therefore introduced to assess children through parent- and preschool teacher reports using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ). This study aims to explore nurses', preschool teachers' and parents' perspectives of this new information sharing model. Using the grounded theory methodology, semi-structured interviews with nurses (n = 10) at child health clinics, preschool teachers (n = 13) and parents (n = 11) of 3-, 4- and 5-year-old children were collected and analysed between March 2014 and June 2014. The analysis was conducted using constant comparative method. The participants were sampled purposively within a larger trial in Sweden. Results indicate that all stakeholders shared a desire to have a complete picture of the child's health. The perceptions that explain why the stakeholders were in favour of the new procedure-the 'causal conditions' in a grounded theory model-included: (1) Nurses thought that visits after 18-months were unsatisfactory, (2) Preschool teachers wanted to identify children with difficulties and (3) Parents viewed preschool teachers as being qualified to assess children. However, all stakeholders had doubts as to whether there was a reliable way to assess children's behaviour. Although nurses found the SDQ to be useful for their clinical evaluation, they noticed that not all parents chose to participate. Both teachers and parents acknowledged benefits of information sharing. However, the former had concerns about parental reactions to their assessments and the latter about how personal information was handled. The theoretical model developed describes that the causal conditions and current context of child healthcare in many respects endorse the introduction of information sharing. However, successful implementation requires considerable work to address barriers: the tension between normative thinking versus helping children with developmental problems for preschool teachers and dealing with privacy issues and inequity in participation for parents.
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