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NCJ Number: 206550 Add to Shopping cart Find in a Library
Title: Preadolescent Psychiatric and Substance Use Disorders and the Ecology of Risk and Protection
Journal: Journal of Child & Adolescent Substance Abuse  Volume:13  Issue:4  Dated:2004  Pages:61-81
Author(s): Michael J. Mason
Date Published: 2004
Page Count: 21
Sponsoring Agency: Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Admin (SAMHSA)
Rockville, MD 20857
Contract Number: 277-00-6500
Type: Literature Review
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This literature presents the state of current research regarding preadolescents psychiatric disorders, mental health problems, substance abuse disorders, and the ecology of risk and protection.
Abstract: The first section explores the difficulties in defining and applying disorders to preadolescents, which are defined as children between the ages of 9 and 12. The work of child psychiatrists and psychologists is hindered by the fact that no empirically substantiated criteria exist to define mental disturbance in children. Children’s unique expression of complex behavioral and emotional disturbances have been poorly understood, leading practitioners to use diagnostic criteria designed for adults. The establishment of clear diagnostic criteria for children has been controversial. The next section examines research concerning the prevalence of psychiatric disturbances and substance abuse among preadolescents, including the existence of co-morbidity among this population. Prevalence estimates among these studies vary depending upon the method of assessment, variations in age ranges included in the studies, and the period assessed. A rare study of co-morbidity in preadolescence discovered that a greater diversity of conduct disorder behaviors among preadolescents before the initiation of drug involvement corresponded with greater alcohol use during the 2-year follow-up period. The following section examines the risk and protective factors for preadolescent drug use that have been noted in the research literature. Considerable levels of agreement on risk and protective factors for this population were noted across studies. Classes of vulnerability are reviewed, as is the cumulative effect of risk factors on preadolescent drug and alcohol use. Finally, the ecodevelopmental perspective is described as providing a comprehensive framework for organizing the influences on deleterious behaviors such as substance abuse. Underlying this perspective is the need for researchers and practitioners to look beyond the primary social ecological domain into other social systems that may be involved in risk and protective processes. The ecological settings in which children live must be examined in the study of problem behavior; children’s psychiatric disorders are embedded into the everyday activities that children engage in as part of a culturally organized sequence. Table, references
Main Term(s): Literature reviews; Mental disorders
Index Term(s): Children at risk; Juvenile drug use
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