Ecological factors associated with behavioral problems in vulnerable children

Jina Choo, Hye Jin Kim, Melanie T. Turk, Eun Kyung Kim, Kyung Sook Yang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Aim: Based on McLeroy's ecological perspective, this study aimed to identify the factors that are associated with behavioral problems among children who were enrolled in community child centers that provide public welfare services for vulnerable children. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted among 175 children aged 6–12 years and their parents who were recruited from 16 community child centers in a municipal county of Seoul, South Korea. The children's behavioral problems were reported by their parents and measured by the Child Behavior Checklist/6–18. As predictor variables, 14 potential factors were selected at multiple ecological levels; parents’ health-related quality of life was measured by the World Health Organization Quality of Life-BREF. A multiple linear regression analysis was carried out. Results: At the intrapersonal level, children's chronic illness was significantly associated with internalizing problems. At the interpersonal level, lower parental health-related quality of life was significantly associated with internalizing and externalizing problems. At the organizational level, more years since the community child centers were founded was significantly associated with social problems. At the community level, a lower population density in the district in which the community child center was located was significantly associated with internalizing problems. Conclusion: Among vulnerable children, behavioral problems were significantly associated with a comprehensive array of intrapersonal-, interpersonal-, organizational-, and community-level factors. These ecological factors that have been identified in the present study need to be considered when developing multilevel, community-based nursing strategies for preventing and managing vulnerable children's behavioral problems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)205-218
Number of pages14
JournalJapan Journal of Nursing Science
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Jul

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2016 Japan Academy of Nursing Science


  • child
  • child behavior
  • ecological
  • quality of life
  • vulnerable population

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Research and Theory


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