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ERIC Number: EJ1167886
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015-Sep
Pages: 13
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1045-3830
Psychopharmacological Treatment among Adolescents with Disabilities: Prevalence and Predictors in a Nationally Representative Sample
Sullivan, Amanda L.; Sadeh, Shanna
School Psychology Quarterly, v30 n3 p443-455 Sep 2015
Little is known about psychopharmacological treatment among adolescents with educational disabilities. This study (a) describes pharmacotherapy among adolescents who received special education, and (b) examines the relations to adolescents' disability type and sociodemographic characteristics. The sample was 9,230 adolescents who participated in the National Longitudinal Transition Study 2, a nationally representative study of students with disabilities. Descriptive statistics and logistic regression were used to estimate prevalence and predictors of pharmacotherapy. During the study period, 18.14% of adolescents received pharmacotherapy with 11.75% receiving monopharmacy, 6.39% receiving polypharmacy, and 5.86% simultaneously receiving multiple classes of medications. Stimulants and antidepressants were the most commonly used classes of psychotropic medication. After adjusting for sociodemographics, pharmacotherapy was highest among adolescents with other health impairments, emotional disturbance, and autism. Disability type, race/ethnicity, marital status, head of household education, urbanicity, and private insurance type were significant predictors of polypharmacy. Overall, these results indicated rates of psychopharmacological treatment exceeded those in the general population and disparities across sociodemographic groups existed. Implications for research and practice are discussed.
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Assessments and Surveys: National Longitudinal Transition Study of Special Education Students
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A