Worrying behaviour in pre-school children aged three to seven years: a factor analysis of the results of a questionnaire
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Psychiatr Pol 2014;48(2):359–369
Aim. The aims of the study were: 1) the assessment of the interaction between the factors specified for behavioural problems observed in pre-school children based on a factor analysis and 2) the assessment of the relationship the specified factors have with the age and gender of the study group. Method. A factor analysis based on a Principal Component Analysis of the main results of a Disturbing Behaviour Questionnaire (DBQ) completed by pre-school teachers, which includes categories of behaviour observed among pre-school age children that provoke the greatest concern among parents, guardians and educators. Material. Nine-hundred and sixty-one children aged from 2.7 to 7.9 years (mean: 5.4; SD 1.13) from randomly chosen pre-schools in all districts of Krakow. Results. Based on a screen plot, as well as on a substantive analysis of the results, a decision was taken to employ a four-factor analysis (Lagging behind, Excessive behaviour, Eating-avoidance and Overeating) explaining 68% of the common factor variance. A very high Cronbach's alpha value was returned for the reliability of the individual scales. The conducted analysis of the relationship of the scales with age and gender indicated a greater intensity of disturbing behaviour in boys for the Lagging behind factor, the Excessive behaviour factor and the overall scale for the Disturbing Behaviour Questionnaire (DBQ). These were the scales, along with the Eating-avoidance scale, that were found to be related to age. A greater intensity of disturbing behaviour was found to occur in the younger children. The relationship between the Overeating and Excessive behaviour scales that was found among girls but not among boys indicated that even at such a young age the characteristics associated with eating in the context of gender were already present. Conclusions. The authors consider that the coherence of the results obtained and their consistency with other studies of pre-school age children provide a sound platform for further analyses using the questionnaire described above.