Youth at entry to residential treatment: Understanding psychotropic medication use

Annette K. Griffith, Gail Smith, Jonathan C. Huefner, Michael H. Epstein, Ronald Thompson, Nirbhay N. Singh, Laurel K. Leslie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


Youth entering residential treatment often present with complex mental health and behavioral needs. As a result, it is not surprising that many of these youth have active prescriptions for psychotropic medications. What is surprising, however, is that very little is known about how psychotropic medications are used for youth who enter residential treatment. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to gain a better understanding of psychotropic medication use for youth at their time of entry to residential treatment through the examination of archival data. Data suggested that the youth in this sample had high levels of emotional and behavioral difficulties and that many had active psychotropic prescriptions. Patterns of use differed slightly from those identified with previous samples, but several clinical and non-clinical factors were identified that were predictive of psychotropic medication use. Findings and implications are discussed in detail.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2028-2035
Number of pages8
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 2012


  • Out-of-home care
  • Psychotropic medication
  • Residential treatment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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