The Health and Well-Being of Children in Rural Areas: A Portrait of the Nation 2005
Home The Child The Child's Family The Child and Family's Neighborhood Order
Overall Child Health Status  |  Children with Moderate or Severe Health Conditions
Breastfeeding  |  Children with Moderate or Severe Socio-Emotional Difficulties  |  Impact of Socio-Emotional Difficulties
Overweight  |  Injury  |  Parents' Concerns  |  Current Health Insurance  |  Coverage Consistency  |  Preventive Health Care Visits
Preventive Dental Visits  |  Medical Home  |  Staying Home Alone  |  Repeating a Grade  |  Regular Physical Activity

Children with Moderate or Severe Socio-Emotional Difficulties

Over 9 percent of children are reported by their parents to have difficulty with emotions, behavior, concentration, or the ability to get along with others. The prevalence of such socio-emotional difficulties does not vary greatly by location. Among children living in urban areas, 9.0 percent are reported to have socio-emotional difficulties; the same is true of 10.4 percent of children in large rural areas and 9.5 percent of children in small rural areas.

In general, moderate or severe socio-emotional difficulties are more common among boys, older children, and children with lower family incomes; however, there is little variation by location within these groups. For instance, 11.1 percent of boys in urban areas are reported to have moderate or severe socio-emotional problems, compared to 12.3 percent of boys in large rural areas and 12.4 percent of boys in small rural areas. The rates among girls are lower and do not follow the same pattern: rates are highest among girls in large rural areas (8.4 percent) and lowest in small rural areas (6.4 percent).

A similar lack of pattern is evident by age: rates among 3- to 5-year-olds are lowest in urban areas (4.8 percent) and highest in small rural areas (5.2 percent), but rates among 12- to 17- year-olds are lowest in urban areas (10.8 percent) and highest in large rural areas (11.7 percent). One of the most noticeable differences by location is evident among children living below the Federal poverty level: rates among children living in urban areas are 13.1 percent, compared to a rate of 17.7 percent in large rural areas.

Graph: Percent of children aged 3-17 years with moderate or severe socio-emotional difficulties, by location

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This chartbook is based on data from the National Survey of Children's Health. Suggested citation: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau. The National Survey of Children's Health 2003. Rockville, Maryland: U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 2005.