Emotional and behavioural problems in Moroccan, Turkish and Dutch youth in the Netherlands
background In view of the stress associated with migration, one expects immigrant children to show a relatively high level of problem behaviour. International research has produced mixed findings. In Dutch research, however, immigrant pupils have been found to have more emotional and behavioural problems than Dutch native pupils.
aim To obtain insight into the prevalence of emotional and behavioural problems in Moroccan, Turkish and Dutch youth, as reported by parents, teachers and adolescents.
method Our samples consisted of 819 Moroccan immigrant, 833 Turkish immigrant and 2227 Dutch native children between the ages of 4 and 18. The Child Behavior Checklist, the Teacher's Report Form and the Youth Self-Report were used.
results Moroccan parents reported just as many emotional and behavioural problems in their children as did Dutch parents, whereas Turkish parents reported more emotional problems in their children. Moroccan adolescents reported fewer behavioural problems than Turkish and Dutch adolescents. Turkish adolescents reported more emotional problems than Dutch and Moroccan adolescents. The picture presented by teachers however was different: teachers reported substantially more behavioural problems for Moroccan pupils than for Dutch and Turkish pupils.
conclusion Levels of problem behaviour in Moroccan and Turkish immigrant youth are rather different. Turkish youth showed a strikingly high level of emotional problems, whereas the discrepancy between the reported levels of behavioural problems was most pronounced for Moroccan youth.