One out of every 13 American students — or 7.5 percent of the school-age youth — between the ages of 5 and 17 take prescription medications for psychiatric problems, the National Center for Health Statistics found.
The study also found that 55 percent of the parents said the medications that their kids were prescribed helped “a lot” with behavioral and emotional issues, and 26 percent said they helped “some,” the Atlanta Black Starreported.
The researchers didn’t identify the names of the prescription medications, but they did detail data based on race and gender.
Among their findings: Boys were prescribed the medications at nearly twice the rate as girls. About 9 percent of the children taking medications were white, compared to 7.4 percent black and 4.5 percent Hispanic. And children of families on some sort of public health plan such as Medicaid were more apt to receive the medications than those with private insurance.
Still, researchers were hesitant to draw conclusions.
“We really can’t speculate what factors would account for the difference,” said report author LaJeana Howie, a statistical research scientist for the health agency, the Black Star reported.