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J Child Adolesc Psychopharmacol. 2010 Apr;20(2):135-43. doi: 10.1089/cap.2009.0065.

Rates of psychotropic medication use over time among youth in child welfare/child protective services.

Author information

1
Center on Child and Family Outcomes, Institute for Clinical Research and Health Policy Studies, Tufts Medical Center, 800 Washington Street, Boston, MA 02111, USA. lleslie@tuftsmedicalcenter.org

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

The aim of this study was to examine rates of psychotropic medication use over time among a national probability sample of youths involved with child welfare/child protective services (CW/CPS) in the National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW).

METHODS:

Growth mixture modeling was used to classify 2,521 youths into groups based on individual medication use trajectories. Determinants associated with groupings were examined using logistic regression.

RESULTS:

Overall, 22% of youths used medications over 3 years. Three groups were identified: (1) Low medication use (85%, n = 2,057), where medication was used rarely or never; (2) increasing medication use, where medication was commonly started after investigation (4%, n = 148); and (3) high medication use, where medication use was endorsed over multiple study waves (12%, n = 316). On multivariate modeling, physical abuse predicted membership in the increasing-use group (reference group, low use); Caucasian (versus African American) and need predicted membership in the high-use group (reference group, low use). Male gender was associated with membership in both the increasing-use and high-use groups (reference group, low use). Age and abuse type (physical abuse, neglect) demonstrated complex relationships with group membership.

CONCLUSIONS:

Psychotropic medication use trajectories for children in child welfare vary and are best understood when disaggregated into distinct subpopulations.

PMID:
20415609
PMCID:
PMC2865357
DOI:
10.1089/cap.2009.0065
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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