Our purpose was to determine the effects of gender and age on Kosovar YSR scores and the prevalence of self-reported behavioral/emotional problems in Kosovar adolescents based on scores above a cutpoint.
Participants were 1351 adolescents recruited from secondary schools in seven regions of Kosova who completed the Youth Self-Report.
The oldest adolescents had the highest scores on many YSR scales. Although Kosova’s mean problems scores were not elevated relative to international norms, the percentage of adolescents scoring in the deviant range (borderline + clinical) was much higher than expected for almost all YSR problem scales, including Total Problems (31.2 %), Internalizing (40.8 %), and Externalizing (23.4 %). The 23 % prevalence of elevated scores on Stress Problems was triple the expected 7 % prevalence based on a 93rd percentile cutpoint.
Results revealed much higher prevalence of psychopathology than would be expected based on international norms, with 25–40 % of Kosovar adolescents scoring in the deviant range on YSR scales, Thus, our research indicates a need for expanding psychiatry services to meet the pressing mental health needs of Kosovar adolescents as well as the importance of considering mental health problems in their social context.