Problems and competencies reported by parents of Vietnamese children in Hanoi

Robert S. McKelvey, Lisa C. Davies, David L. Sang, Kevin R. Pickering, C. T.U. Hoang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine the distribution of behavioral and emotional problems and competencies among a sample of Vietnamese children aged 4 through 18 years living in Hanoi. Method: A representative community sample of 1,526 children and adolescents was selected from 2 precincts in Hanoi. Problems and competencies were assessed with the Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL). Results: Vietnamese children had lower mean raw scores than U.S. norms on the CBCL's Total, Externalizing, Internalizing, and Competence scales. Boys were reported to have more externalizing problems and girls more internalizing problems. Girls' levels of internalizing problems increased significantly with age. Conclusion: The lower levels of problems and competencies reported in Vietnamese children may represent differences in the prevalence of psychiatric disorders, in parental perceptions of what constitutes deviant behavior, or in parental comfort with reporting psychopathological behaviors. Further research is needed to clarify the relationship between the reported behavioral and emotional problems of Vietnamese children and the presence of psychiatric disorders. From a clinical perspective, the study's results suggest that levels of problems and competencies may vary significantly between different ethnic and cultural groups. Specific clinical cutoffs used to identify children requiring further psychiatric assessment need to be established separately for different ethnic groups.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)731-737
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1999
Externally publishedYes


  • Behavior problems
  • Emotional problems
  • Psychiatric disorders
  • Vietnam

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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