This is a cross sectional community study in Johor Bahru District. The aim of this study is to estimate the overall prevalence of emotional and behavioural deviance among the school children in three different geographical areas, and to identify their correlates. This paper presents the findings of phase one of a two-stage procedure involving a total of 589 children aged 10-12 years. Using the cut-off point validated locally, the prevalence of deviance on the parental scale was 40% in the rural school, 30.2% in the agricultural resettlement (Felda) school and 32.3% in the urban school. On the teachers' assessment, the prevalence of deviance was 40.8% in the rural school, 10.8% in the Felda School and 8.9% in the urban school. There was significantly higher prevalence of deviance in the rural school on the teachers' scale. In the rural school, significantly higher prevalence of deviance was found among boys.