InDaily

Adelaide's independent news

Support

Disadvantaged boys more likely to be medicated: Adelaide study

News

Children and teens from disadvantaged families, particularly boys living with a single parent, are more likely to be prescribed antipsychotic medication, an Adelaide study has shown.

Comments
Comments Print article

Antipsychotic medications are typically used to treat mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and bipolar, and can also be used to treat behavioural issues associated with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD).

Concerned that children from disadvantaged families are more likely to be prescribed the powerful drugs, social policy researcher Amy Kaim from the Robinson Research Institute at the University of Adelaide analysed data from the Longitudinal Study of Australian Children (LSAC) and then cross-matched it with information from Medicare and the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

The analysis found a larger proportion of children and teens taking antipsychotic medication were boys, in lower-income families, with an unemployed primary caregiver, who were living in single-parent households.

“Their parents were more likely to report that their child had behavioural difficulties and they were more likely to have repeated a grade in school and to have lower school achievement,” she said.

Kaim says the findings highlight the need to look at social factors that influence a teen’s mental health before “resorting to antipsychotics for the treatment of behavioural problems”.

The study will be presented at the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists (RANZCP) Annual Congress in Auckland this week.

– AAP

We value local independent journalism. We hope you do too.

InDaily provides valuable, local independent journalism in South Australia. As a news organisation it offers an alternative to The Advertiser, a different voice and a closer look at what is happening in our city and state for free. Any contribution to help fund our work is appreciated. Please click below to become an InDaily supporter.

Powered by PressPatron

Comments

Show comments Hide comments
Will my comment be published? Read the guidelines.

More News stories

Loading next article