Problems Reported by Dutch Youths and Turkish Immigrant Youths Living in the Netherlands

A team of Turkish and Dutch researchers compared YSRs scored for Dutch 11- to 18-year-olds (N = 1,098) and Turkish 11- to 18-year-olds (N = 363) living in the Netherlands. In addition to ethnicity, numerous family and youth characteristics were analyzed in relation to the YSR scores.

After controlling for characteristics such as socioeconomic status, number of children in the family, the youth’s educational history, and stress-related variables, the researchers found that ethnic differences were most pronounced on the Withdrawn and Anxious/Depressed syndromes: Turkish boys and girls scored significantly higher than their Dutch counterparts on both these syndromes.

Other studies have found similarly elevated scores on CBCLs completed by Turkish parents for Turkish children living in Turkey as well as in the Netherlands, and on TRFs completed by Turkish immigrant teachers for Turkish children living in the Netherlands.

Furthermore, CBCL scores for Turkish children living in the Netherlands were very similar to those of Turkish children living in Turkey. The consistency with which Turkish children in Turkey and the Netherlands obtained higher scores than Dutch children on the Withdrawn and Anxious/Depressed syndromes according to parent, teacher, and self-ratings indicates that this is a significant cross-cultural difference that is not explained by the numerous demographic and stress-related variables that were tested. The authors discussed several culture-related factors that may contribute to the higher scores for Turkish children on the Withdrawn and Anxious/Depressed syndromes.

 Murad, S.D., Joung, I.M.A., van Lenthe, F.J., Bengi-Arslan, L., & Crijnen, A.A.M. (2003). Predictors of self-reported problem behaviours in Turkish immigrant and Dutch adolescents in the Netherlands. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 44, 412-423.