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Adm Policy Ment Health. 2014 May;41(3):334-42. doi: 10.1007/s10488-013-0474-8.

Racial/ethnic disparities in children's emergency mental health after economic downturns.

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Program in Public Health & Department of Planning, Policy, and Design, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA, USA,


African American children-more than other race/ethnicities-rely on emergency psychiatric care. One hypothesized cause of this overrepresentation involves heightened sensitivity to economic downturns. We test whether the African American/white difference in psychiatric emergency visits increases in months when the regional economy contracts. We applied time-series methods to California Medicaid claims (1999-2008; N = 7.1 million visits). One month following mass layoffs, African American youths use more emergency mental health services than do non-Hispanic whites. Economic downturns may provoke or uncover mental disorder especially among African American youth who by and large do not participate in the labor force.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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