This is the first of a series of investigations designed to study the characteristics of children and adolescents with serious emotional disturbance (SED) who are currently being served in various systems of care, ranging from community-based services to psychiatric hospitalization and residential placement. The sociodemographic, medical, psychological, and educational records of all children and adolescents admitted to a child and adolescent psychiatric hospital during a fiscal year were reviewed. Of the 321 consecutive admissions during the study period, official educational placement data were available from the students' home schools for only 250. These 250 students were grouped according to their educational status prior to admission: (a) students not identified as handicapped for educational services (46%, n = 116); (b) students identified as SED (36%, n = 91); and (c) students with other disabilities, such as mental retardation and learning disabilities (LD) (18%, n = 43). The data were analyzed for the total study sample as well as for the three groups in terms of the following variables: gender, age, race, residential status at admission, psychiatric history, prior outpatient history, substance abuse, criminal record, type of referral (voluntary vs. involuntary), source and reason for referral for psychiatric services, psychiatric diagnosis at discharge, and medication at admission and at discharge. Significant differences among the three groups were found on a number of variables, including gender, psychiatric history, prior outpatient treatment, psychiatric diagnosis, and medication. These findings are discussed in terms of systems of care needed for children and adolescents with and without SED.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Developmental and Educational Psychology
- Clinical Psychology
- Psychiatry and Mental health