Send to

Choose Destination
J Clin Child Adolesc Psychol. 2007 Mar;36(1):8-18.

Evaluating psychiatric hospital admission decisions for children in foster care: an optimal classification tree analysis.

Author information

Department of Psychology, Loyola University Chicago, 6525 N. Sheridan, Chicago, IL 60626, USA.


This study explored clinical and nonclinical predictors of inpatient hospital admission decisions across a sample of children in foster care over 4 years (N = 13,245). Forty-eight percent of participants were female and the mean age was 13.4 (SD = 3.5 years). Optimal data analysis (Yarnold & Soltysik, 2005) was used to construct a nonlinear classification tree model for predicting admission decisions. As expected, clinical variables such as suicidality, psychoticism, and dangerousness predicted psychiatric admissions; however, several variables that are not direct indications of acute psychiatric distress, such as the presence of family problems and the location of the hospital screening, impacted decision making in a subsample of cases. Further analyses indicated that the model developed in Year 1 reliably and consistently predicted admission decisions (with 64%-68% overall accuracy) across the next 3 years. Policy, research, and clinical implications are discussed.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center