10% of US Children Have a Serious Emotional Disturbance
September 21, 2017   

A new meta-analysis of population-representative studies revealed that 10% of US children experience a serious emotional disturbance (SED) that is functionally impairing. Twelve studies met the inclusion criteria (assessed psychopathology and functional impairment among community samples of children and adolescents; used structured interviews or standardized rating scales; reported point to 12-month prevalence estimate). The pooled prevalence of SED with domain-specific impairment was 10.06%, while the pooled prevalence with global impairment was 3.36%. Prevalence rates did not differ by study or sample characteristics. These results highlight the importance of collaborative care models, since 1 in 10 children in primary care may require some form of mental health services.

Williams NJ, Scott L, Aarons GA. Prevalence of serious emotional disturbance among U.S. children: a meta-analysis. Psychiatr Serv 2017;Epub ahead of print.