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Adm Policy Ment Health. 2008 May;35(3):168-80. Epub 2007 Nov 29.

Are children with anxiety disorders privately referred to a university clinic like those referred from the public mental health system?

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  • 1Department of Psychology, Virginia Commonwealth University, Richmond, VA 23284-2018, USA.


Compared two groups of children with anxiety disorders served at a single mental health clinic whose referral source differed: private referrals (i.e., parent/legal guardian initiated) and public referrals (e.g., via state contracts--Departments of Health and Education, juvenile justice system). Comparisons were made across three domains of variables: (a) symptoms/diagnoses, (b) functioning, and (c) environments. Few symptom differences emerged. However, large differences were evident for contextual variables like family income and life stressors. Overall, the pattern of differences point to possible directions for adaptation of treatments for use with children with anxiety disorders served in public mental health systems.

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