This study assessed the persistence of psychiatric disturbance and factors associated with it. The material consisted of the Rutter A2 Scale the Rutter B2 Scale and the Children's Depression Inventories (CDI) of 1268 children completed respectively by parents, teachers and the children themselves. Three questionnaires were filled out twice, with an interval of 4 years. The mean scores obtained from the questionnaires were lower for both boys and girls in study 2 than in study 1. Differences between genders in both studies were most prominent when information given by teachers was used. Children screened as disturbed in study 1 were clearly more prone to be disturbed in study 2 as well. The risk varied between 5- and 8.8-fold when the same assessment method was used in both studies. Another variable clearly connected with disturbance in study 2 was psychiatric consultation reported by the parents. The sex of the child also proved to be important when the disturbance was assessed using the information given by the teacher.