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Mental Health Disorders Prevalent in US Children

J Pediatr; ePub 2018 Oct 12; Ghandour, et al

The latest nationally representative data from the National Survey of Children's Health (NSCH) show that depression, anxiety, and behavioral/conduct problems are prevalent among US children and adolescents. Furthermore, treatment gaps remain, particularly for anxiety and behavioral/conduct problems. Researchers analyzed data from the 2016 NSCH to report nationally representative prevalence estimates of each condition among children aged 3-17 years and receipt of treatment by a mental health professional. Parents/caregivers reported whether their children had ever been diagnosed with each of the 3 conditions and whether they currently have the condition. They found:

  • Among children aged 3-17 years, 7.1% had current anxiety problems, 7.4% had a current behavioral/conduct problem, and 3.2% had current depression.
  • The prevalence of each disorder was higher with older age and poorer child health or parent/caregiver mental/emotional health; condition-specific variations were observed in the association between other characteristics and the likelihood of disorder.
  • Nearly 80% of those with depression received treatment in the previous year, compared with 59.3% of those with anxiety problems and 53.5% of those with behavioral/conduct problems.

Citation:

Ghandour RM, Sherman LJ, Vladutiu CJ, et al. Prevalence and treatment of depression, anxiety, and conduct problems in US children. [Published online ahead of print October 12, 2018]. J Pediatr. doi:10.1016/j.jpeds.2018.09.021.

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