Prevalence of DSM-5 mental disorders in a nationally representative sample of children in Taiwan: Methodology and main findings

Yi Lung Chen, Wei J. Chen, Kuan Chia Lin, Lih Jong Shen, Susan Shur Fen Gau*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

90 Scopus citations


AimsThere has been a lack of prevalence estimates of DSM-5 mental disorders in child populations at the national level worldwide. This study estimated the lifetime and 6-month prevalence of mental disorders according to the DSM-5 diagnostic criteria in Taiwanese children.MethodsTaiwan's National Epidemiological Study of Child Mental Disorders used the stratified cluster sampling to select 69 schools in Taiwan resulting in a nationally representative sample of 4816 children in grades 3 (n = 1352), 5 (n = 1297) and 7 (n = 2167). All the participants underwent face-to-face psychiatric interviews using the Kiddie-Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia-Epidemiological version, modified for the DSM-5, and they and their parents completed questionnaires. The inverse probability censoring weighting (IPCW)-adjusted prevalence was reported to minimise non-response bias.ResultsThe IPCW-adjusted prevalence rates of mental disorders decreased by 0.1-0.5% than raw weighted prevalence. The IPCW-adjusted weighted lifetime and 6-month prevalence rates for overall mental disorders were 31.6 and 25.0%, respectively. The most prevalent mental disorders (lifetime, 6-month) were anxiety disorders (15.2, 12.0%) and attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (10.1, 8.7%), followed by sleep disorders, tic disorders, oppositional defiant disorder and autism spectrum disorder. The prevalence rates of new DSM-5 mental disorders, avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder and disruptive mood dysregulation disorder were low (<1%).ConclusionsOur findings, similar to the DSM-IV prevalence rates reported in Western countries, indicate that DSM-5 mental disorders are common in the Taiwanese child population and suggest the need for public awareness, early detection and prevention.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEpidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences
StateAccepted/In press - 2019


  • Children
  • DSM-5
  • epidemiology
  • national survey
  • prevalence


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