Single Parents Faulted For Soaring Behavioral Problems
June 6, 2000
The number of U.S. youngsters with emotional and behavioral problems has soared in the past two decades, according to a new study by Kelley Kelleher of the University of Pittsburgh and Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh. That development was due, in part, to growing numbers of poor and single-parent households, Kelleher says.
She rejected suggestions that the trend is being noticed only because of doctors' increasing ability to recognize and diagnose such problems.
- Such conditions as attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder were noticed in 6.8 percent of all doctor visits in 1979 -- and grew to 18.7 percent of visits by 1996.
- Among the 21,065 patients ages 4 to 15 involved in the study, emotional problems such as anxiety and depression increased from a negligible number to 3.6 percent.
- Within the same time frame, the number of patients in single-family homes rose from 15 percent to 22 percent.
And where just 6 percent of the earlier patients were on Medicaid -- 18 percent of the 1996 patients were.
Source: Associated Press, "Pediatricians See Rise in Behavioral Problems," Washington Times, June 6, 2000.
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