Psychotropic medication characteristics for special education students with emotional and/or behavioral disorders

Richard E. Mattison, Victoria Rundberg-Rivera, Chenel Michel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations

Abstract

Objective: Characteristics of psychotropic medication use have rarely been investigated for special education students with emotional and/or behavioral disorders. Methods: The prevalence of psychotropic medication use was obtained at the beginning of a school year for a cohort of 77 students attending a self-contained middle school for special education students with emotional and/or behavioral problems, in the suburban New York City area. Demographics, intelligence quotient (IQ) and achievement testing, and objective measures of both psychopathology and school functioning were gathered. Results: Overall, psychotropic medication was used in 77.9% of the participants; 52.0% received more than one medication. The most commonly prescribed medicines were atypical antipsychotics (49.4%) followed by attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) medications (48.0%). Usage patterns for specific diagnostic presentations were examined, and appeared consistent with current clinical practice. Persistent elevated psychopathology appeared frequently in students on medication. Conclusions: Psychotropic medication use in this unique but important sample of special education students appeared generally consistent with recent psychotropic prevalence research. The need for collaboration between special education teachers and prescribing physicians, in order to achieve optimal medication adjustment for these students, was highlighted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)347-353
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Child and Adolescent Psychopharmacology
Volume24
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 1 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Pharmacology (medical)

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