To compare self-reported emotional and behavioural problems among Greek and Finnish adolescents.
Youth Self-Report scores were analysed for 3373 Greek adolescents aged 18 years and 7039 Finnish adolescents aged 15-16 years from the general population in both countries. The impact of country, gender, place of residence, socioeconomic status (SES) and family stability on the scores was evaluated.
Only country and gender yielded small to medium effect on the scores. Greek boys scored significantly higher than Finns on 10 of the 11 YSR syndromes, particularly on the anxious/depressed scale. Greek girls scored significantly lower than Finnish girls on the somatic complaints and delinquent behaviour scales. In general, girls scored higher than boys on both internalising and externalising problems. The gender by country interaction revealed that Finnish girls reported more externalising problems.
The main differences marked in this comparison were the higher level of anxiety and depression in Greeks than Finns and the higher level of externalising problems in Finnish girls than boys. Cultural standards could play an important role in explaining these differences. Overall, it seems that only a small number of differences exist between a northern and southern European region.