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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 200156 Find in a Library
Title: Medical, Legal, and Mental Health Service Utilization by Physically Abused Children and Their Caregivers
Journal: Child Maltreatment  Volume:8  Issue:2  Dated:May 2003  Pages:138-144
Author(s): Cynthia Cupit Swenson; Elissa J. Brown; Ashli J. Sheidow
Editor(s): Mark Chaffin
Date Published: May 2003
Page Count: 7
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This study attempted to determine the percentage of Medicaid-eligible, physically abused children and their caregivers receiving medical, legal, and mental health services and the relationship of receiving mental health services and changes in behavioral and emotional symptomatology.
Abstract: Previous research on health care use among children has typically focused on the general population. The lack of research on health service utilization among physically abused children has left a gap in understanding whether physically abused children receive various services and if those services are helpful in reducing the number of children’s symptoms. This study explored those economically disadvantaged children and families in an attempt to study a population at greater risk of negative mental health disorders. The study aimed to determine the percentage of Medicaid-eligible, physically abused children and their caregivers receiving medical, legal, and mental health services and assess the relationship between mental health service utilization and emotional and behavioral functioning. Participants included 37 Medicaid-eligible children who had substantiated cases of physical abuse and their caregivers and were recruited through the Department of Social Services (DSS) in 3 counties in South Carolina. Results indicated that fewer than half of the children were receiving mental health services and children were more likely to receive services if the maltreating caregiver was not in the home. More maltreating caregivers received mental health services than did their children. Caregivers were more likely to receive treatment if they acknowledged the abuse. Children who participated in treatment showed reductions in parent-reported problem behaviors. However, they showed increases in anxiety in comparison to children who did not participate in treatment. References
Main Term(s): Child abuse
Index Term(s): Child abuse treatment; Economic influences; Healthcare; Indigents; Juvenile mental health services; Low income target groups; Mental health services; North Carolina
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