Willy Winata, Munar Lubis, Elmeida Effendy


Background: It is imperative to acknowledge mental health disorder in order to improve human resources, especially children and teenages because they are nation’s next human resources. Nail biting is suspected as a sign and symptom that someone has mental health disorder or suffers certain psychiatric condition.

Objective: The aim of this study is to evaluate the relationship between mental health disorder and nail biting in children.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in March 2016 in Singkuang village, Muara Batang Gadis district, North Sumatera, Indonesia. The samples were elementary, junior high school, senior high school students. All samples were required to fill in two questionarres, those are nail biting and strength and difficulty questionarre. Univariate, bivariate (chi-square), and multivariate analysis by logistic linear regression was performed with confidence interval 95%. P<0.05 was statistically significant.

Result: There were 583 samples and 140 (23.6%) among themselves had nail biting habit. There were relationship between emotional problem (P = 0.004; PR = 1.803) and peers problem (P = 0.021; PR 1.639) to nail biting habit. The nail biting risk factors in this study were nail biting family history (PR = 4.575; 95% CI 2.451-8.539) and emotional mental disorder (PR = 1.741; 95% CI 1.062-2.855).

Conclusions: There were relationship between emotional disorder and peers problem to nail biting habit. We found nail biting family history and emotional disorder as the risk factors of nail biting in this study.


Mental health disorder, nail biting, children, risk factors

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