Follow-up of preschool children with severe emotional and behavioral symptoms

Doron Gothelf*, Smadar Gertner, Aviva Mimouni-Bloch, Ornit Freudenstein, Nurit Yirmiya, Rafi Weitz, Sam Tyano, Sara Spitzer

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Background: Biological and environmental factors have been related to the persistence of psychopathology in preschool children. The objective of the study was to identify the factors predicting the clinical outcome in preschool inpatients with emotional and behavioral disorders. Method: Twenty-eight children aged 3 to 6.5 years attending a therapeutic nursery were evaluated. Clinical data were collected from the children's charts, including: biological parameters, developmental milestones, intelligence level, socioeconomic status, and stressful life events. Severity of symptoms at follow-up was assessed using the Clinical Global Impression Scale. Results: Low socioeconomic status, excess stressful life events, and female gender were associated with poor clinical outcome. Biological factors such as pregnancy and birth complications and genetic factors were not significant predictors. Limitations: The study was limited by its retrospective design and small sample size. Conclusions: More effort in social interventions and supportive family therapy may improve the outcome of young children with emotional and behavioral problems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)16-20
Number of pages5
JournalIsrael Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2006


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