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Needed help for emotional/behavioral problem, past 12 months

Codes and Frequencies

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For sample children age 3 to 17 years who either never seen a counselor (e.g., psychiatrist, doctor, psychologist or counselor) or did not see one in the last 12 months, this variable indicates if anyone, including the adult respondent, felt that the child needed help for any emotional, mental or behavioral problem. In 1988, this question was asked only of children who also did not have an emotional problem (EMOPEV = "1").

Related Variables

Variables related to EMONEEDYR are available only for 1988 and refer to the last 12 month time period.


These include:

  • received treatment or counseling (EMOTRETYR)
  • if the emotional/behavioral caused the child to miss any time from school (EMOMISSYR)
  • number school days missed from emotional/behavioral problem (EMOMISSYRX)
  • took any medicine for the emotional/behavioral problem (EMOMEDYR)

For a full list of variables related to emotional and behavioral problems, see EMOPEV.


Due to the substantial change in universe, this variable is not completely comparable between the 1981 and 1988 surveys. While the question wording remained completely the same, in 1988, interviewers only asked this question for children who did not report having an emotional problem.


  • 1981: Sample persons age 3 to 17 who have not seen a psychiatrist, psychologist, or psychoanalyst about any emotional, mental, or behavior problem in the past 12 months.
  • 1988: Sample persons age 3 to 17 who do not have a developmental delay, learning disability, or emotional/behavioral problem (or for whom this was unknown) and have not seen psychiatrist or counselor (or for whom this was unknown) OR who have seen a psychiatrist/counselor but time since last seen was more than 12 months ago.


  • 1981, 1988