InDaily InDaily

Support independent Journalism Donate Subscribe
Support independent journalism


Disadvantaged boys more likely to be medicated: Adelaide study


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 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.


Make a comment View comment guidelines

Local News Matters

Media diversity is under threat in Australia – nowhere more so than in South Australia. The state needs more than one voice to guide it forward and you can help with a donation of any size to InDaily. Your contribution goes directly to helping our journalists uncover the facts. Please click below to contribute to InDaily.

Contribute here
Powered by PressPatron


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

More News stories

Loading next article