[Memo From CalYOUTH]: The Use of Psychotropic Medications Over Time Among Foster Youth Transitioning to Adulthood.
Chapin Hall Issue Brief
Park, Keunhye. Okpych, Nathanael J. Courtney, Mark E.
Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago. California Youth Transitions to Adulthood Study (CalYOUTH).
Published: November 2017
Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago
1313 East 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
This issue brief presents findings from a study that explored the use of psychotropic medications over time for California foster youth transitioning to adulthood. The study also examined how psychotropic drug use differs for youth who have different types of behavioral health problems. For the study, information was collected from two interview waves of the California Youth Transitions to Adulthood Study (CalYOUTH). Most respondents (n=611) were 17 years old during the baseline interview conducted in 2013 and 19 years old during the follow-up interview conducted in 2015. Findings indicate: the prevalence of behavioral health problems, psychotropic medications, and psychological or emotional counseling rates declined from age 17 to 19; sexual minority youths were more likely to receive psychotropic medications at age 17; females and sexual minority youth were more likely to receive mental health counseling; 84% of youths using psychotropic mediations also received counseling services at both ages; at age 17, 48% of youths screened positive for either a mental health or a substance use disorder and 12% had a co-occurring problem, while at age 19, 27% screened positive for either a mental health or substance use disorder, and 6% had a co-occurring problem; the most prevalent behavioral health disorders were depression and nonalcohol drug use problems, as well as symptoms of psychotic thinking; and at both ages 17 and 19, about one-half of youths agreed that their medication had improved their mood, concentration, or behavior, and the majority believed the advantages of using medications outweighed the disadvantages (70% at age 17, 74% at age 19). 3 figures and 39 references.
foster adolescents; aging out; mental disorders; substance abuse treatment; drug abuse; psychotropic medication; antidepressants; antipsychotics; behavior problems; depression; mental health services; incidence; childs attitudes