Frosh, S, Loewenthal, K M, Lindsey, C and Spitzer, E (2005)
Prevalence of emotional and behavioural disorders among strictly orthodox Jewish children in London. Clinical Child Psychiatry and Psychology, 10 (3).
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Teacher and parent ratings of emotional and behavioural disorders were made for children aged 5-15 years in the strictly orthodox Jewish community in North London, on the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ; Goodman, 1997). We obtained 369 sets of teacher ratings and 226 parent ratings. Our parent ratings generally reflected less disturbance than did parent ratings in the national samples reported by Meltzer and colleagues (Meltzer, Gatward, Corbin, Goodman, & Ford, 2003; Meltzer, Gatward, Goodman, & Ford, 2000). Our teacher ratings reflected similar levels of disturbance to teacher ratings in the national sample, except that the older boys in this sample were rated as more disturbed by their teachers. Teacher ratings of disturbance were associated with perceived Special Educational Needs (SENs), and it was noted that statutory remedial help was said to be needed particularly urgently for older boys. In this community there is negligible statutory educational funding and remedial support for older boys is said to be particularly under-resourced. The strictly orthodox Jewish community is characterized by large family size and high levels of economic deprivation, and it might be expected that there would be high levels of associated emotional and behavioural disorders. The relatively low levels of behaviour disturbance found were suggested to be the result of moderating factors such as high levels of family cohesion, social support and religiosity.
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