Children develop in the context of the family. Family functioning prominently shapes the psychosocial adaptation and mental health of the child. Several family psychosocial risk factors have been shown to increase the risk of behavioral problems in children. Early identification of families with psychosocial profiles associated with a higher risk of having children with behavioral problems may be valuable for targeting these children for prevention and early intervention services. Methods: We developed the Family Health Questionnaire (FHQ) for the purpose of evaluating families' psychosocial risk profiles in the primary care setting. The questionnaire included 10 formative indicators that have been shown to influence children's behavioral health. We aimed to establish a correlation between the family risk factors on the FHQ and child behavioral health. In addition, we examined the properties of the questionnaire as a screening tool for use in primary care. Families of 313 of children 4-6 years of age presenting for well child examinations at two primary care clinics completed both the FHQ and the Pediatric Symptom Checklist 17 (PSC-17), a validated screening instrument for pediatric behavioral problems. Results: We found that the FHQ was positively and significantly correlated with the PSC score (r = .50, p < .05). Conclusions: The FHQ may be a valuable screening tool for identifying families with psychosocial risk profiles associated with increased risk of childhood behavioral problems.
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