Psychotropic medication use in a national probability sample of children in the child welfare system

Ramesh Raghavan, Bonnie T. Zima, Ronald M. Andersen, Arleen A. Leibowitz, Mark A. Schuster, John Landsverk

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

    Abstract

    Objectives: The aim of this study was to estimate the point prevalence of psychotropic medication use, and to describe relationships between child-level characteristics, provider type, and medication use among children in the child welfare system. Methods: The National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being is the first nationally representative study of children coming into contact with the child welfare system. We used data from its baseline and 12-month follow-up waves, and conducted weighted bivariate analyses on a sample of 3114 children and adolescents, 87% of whom were residing in-home. Results: Overall, 13.5% of children in child welfare were taking psychotropic medications in 2001-2002. Older age, male gender, Caucasian race/ethnicity, history of physical abuse, public insurance, and borderline scores on the internalizing and externalizing subscales of the Child Behavior Checklist were associated with higher proportions of medication use. African-American and Latino ethnicities, and a history of neglect, were associated with lower proportions of medication use. Conclusions: These national estimates suggest that children in child welfare settings are receiving psychotropic medications at a rate between 2 and 3 times that of children treated in the community. This suggests a need to further understand the prescribing of psychotropic medications for child welfare children.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)97-106
    Number of pages10
    JournalJournal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology
    Volume15
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Feb 1 2005

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    Sampling Studies
    Child Welfare
    Child Behavior
    Insurance
    Checklist
    Hispanic Americans
    African Americans

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
    • Psychiatry and Mental health
    • Pharmacology (medical)

    Cite this

    Psychotropic medication use in a national probability sample of children in the child welfare system. / Raghavan, Ramesh; Zima, Bonnie T.; Andersen, Ronald M.; Leibowitz, Arleen A.; Schuster, Mark A.; Landsverk, John.

    In: Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology, Vol. 15, No. 1, 01.02.2005, p. 97-106.

    Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

    Raghavan, Ramesh ; Zima, Bonnie T. ; Andersen, Ronald M. ; Leibowitz, Arleen A. ; Schuster, Mark A. ; Landsverk, John. / Psychotropic medication use in a national probability sample of children in the child welfare system. In: Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology. 2005 ; Vol. 15, No. 1. pp. 97-106.
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