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Emotional and Behavioral Health Needs in Elementary School Students in an Underserved Hispanic Community.


High rates of mental health problems in adolescents have been well documented; less is known about elementary school children in disadvantaged communities. We examined emotional and behavioral health needs in 202 third and fourth graders enrolled in a charter school in a largely Hispanic community. The child-reported Revised Child Anxiety and Depression Scale-25 and Teacher's Report Form were used to evaluate mental health needs as perceived by these children and their teachers. The prevalence of teacher-reported depression and child self-reported anxiety was 7.0% and 6.67%, respectively. Living in a single parent household was found to be a specific risk factor in that those children had higher rates of emotional and behavioral problems than children living with both parents. Evidence of higher depression and anxiety identified in this sample compared to national representative data suggests the need for development of culturally sensitive early prevention and intervention in this underserved community.

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