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J Pediatr Psychol. 2004 Mar;29(2):119-30.

Childhood psychiatric disorder and unintentional injury: findings from a national cohort study.

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MRC Social, Genetic, and Developmental Psychiatry Center, Box P046, Institute of Psychiatry, King's College London, De Crespigny Park, Denmark Hill, London SE5 8AF, UK.



We set out to examine the relationship between unintentional injury and common child psychiatric disorders, including both internalizing and externalizing diagnoses.


The 1999 British Child and Adolescent Mental Health Survey provided a nationally representative sample of over 10,000 children aged 5-15 years. Measures included assessment of diagnoses of psychiatric disorder from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition, unintentional injury, and a range of potentially related psychosocial factors.


Children with psychiatric disorders had higher rates of unintentional injury. After accounting for psychosocial risk factors and comorbid psychopathology, oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) was independently associated with burns and poisoning. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) was related to fractures, and depression and anxiety also showed independent links to some injury types.


ODD and ADHD, rather than conduct disorder, appear to be the externalizing disorders associated with unintentional injury. We discuss possible models of the relationships between internalizing disorders and unintentional injury.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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