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Br J Psychiatry. 2007 Dec;191:493-9.

Mental health of children and adolescents with intellectual disabilities in Britain.

Author information

1
Institute for Health Research, Lancaster University, Lancaster, UK. eric.emerson@lancaster.ac.uk

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Few studies have employed formal diagnostic criteria to determine the prevalence of psychiatric disorders in contemporaneous samples of children with and without intellectual disabilities.

AIMS:

To establish the prevalence of psychiatric disorders against ICD-10 criteria among children with and without intellectual disabilities, the association with social/environmental risk factors, and risk attributable to intellectual disability.

METHOD:

Secondary analysis of the 1999 and 2004 Office for National Statistics surveys of the mental health of British children and adolescents with (n=641) and without (n=17 774) intellectual disability.

RESULTS:

Prevalence of psychiatric disorders was 36% among children with intellectual disability and 8% among children without (OR=6.5). Children with intellectual disabilities accounted for 14% of all British children with a diagnosable psychiatric disorder. Increased prevalence was particularly marked for autistic-spectrum disorder (OR=33.4), hyperkinesis (OR=8.4) and conduct disorders (OR=5.7). Cumulative risk of exposure to social disadvantage was associated with increased prevalence.

CONCLUSIONS:

A significant proportion of the elevated risk for psychopathology among children with intellectual disability may be due to their increased rate of exposure to psychosocial disadvantage.

PMID:
18055952
DOI:
10.1192/bjp.bp.107.038729
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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