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This study examined behavioural and emotional problems, social competence and family functioning of hospitalized Chinese children in Hong Kong and the Chinese Mainland.A sample of 210 hospitalized children (ages 2–11 years) and their families participated in the study. The families were from a cross-section of geographical areas in Hong Kong (two hospitals) and the Chinese Mainland (five hospitals). Parents completed an age-appropriate Chinese version of the Child Behaviour Checklist and the Family Assessment Device. Multiple regression models were used to examine predictors of children's behaviour problems.Behavioural patterns appeared to be specific to the developmental stage. Children had greater problems when their families demonstrated poorer affective involvement. Hospitalized children on the Chinese Mainland experienced more internalizing and externalizing behaviour problems than those in Hong Kong. Sick children, according to their parents, however, demonstrate some resiliency based on social and academic competency factors.Hospitalized Chinese children manifest behavioural, emotional and family problems that vary by region, the child's development and gender. Problems predominantly of an internalizing nature characterized this group. The findings support the need for culturally appropriate behavioural assessments and interventions with hospitalized children.