Skip Navigation LinksHome > January 2012 - Volume 33 - Issue 1 > Mental Health Conditions Among School-Aged Children: Geogra...
Journal of Developmental & Behavioral Pediatrics:
doi: 10.1097/DBP.0b013e31823e18fd
Original Articles

Mental Health Conditions Among School-Aged Children: Geographic and Sociodemographic Patterns in Prevalence and Treatment

Ghandour, Reem M. DrPH*; Kogan, Michael D. PhD*; Blumberg, Stephen J. PhD; Jones, Jessica R. MPH*; Perrin, James M. MD

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Objective: To explore geographic differences in diagnosed emotional and behavioral mental health conditions and receipt of treatment. Methods: Data are from the 2007 National Survey of Children's Health, a nationally representative, parent-reported, cross-sectional survey. Pediatric mental health conditions were identified using parents' responses to 3 questions regarding whether a health care provider had ever told them that their child had depression, anxiety problems, or behavioral or conduct problems. Parents also reported on past-year treatment or counseling by a mental health professional. State-level differences in condition prevalence were identified using unadjusted and adjusted prevalence estimates. Multivariate logistic regression assessed the odds of not receiving treatment by state and diagnoses. Results: Nearly 8% of children aged 6 to 17 years have ever been diagnosed with depression or anxiety, and 5.4% have ever been diagnosed with behavioral or conduct problems. State-level estimates of parent-reported depression or anxiety varied from 4.8% in Georgia to 14.4% in Vermont, while prevalence of behavioral problems ranged from 3.2% in California to 9.2% in Louisiana. Nearly 10% of all school-aged children and 53.1% of those ever diagnosed with either condition type received past-year treatment. The odds of receiving past-year parent-reported treatment did not differ by state of residence with the exception of Louisiana and Nevada: children ever diagnosed had approximately 2.5 times the odds of not receiving past-year treatment in these states. Conclusion: The prevalence of parent-reported mental health disorders among children varies by geographic and sociodemographic factors, while receipt of treatment is generally dependent on sociodemographic and health-related factors.

© 2012 Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.

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