Psychology, Department of


Date of this Version

November 2006


Published in Education and Treatment of Children Vol. 29, No. 2, 2006, pp. 165–172. Education and Treatment of Children (ISSN: 0748-8491) is published quarterly by the West Virginia University Press in cooperation with California University of Pennsylvania. Used by permission.


Epidemiological research indicates a high prevalence of psychiatric disorders among children and adolescents. Approximately 21% of children and adolescents, ages 9 to 17, have a diagnosable psychiatric disorder (Costello et al., 1996; Shaffer et al., 1996; U.S. Public Health Service, 2000), and additional youngsters experience social and emotional difficulties that do not meet symptom criteria for a disorder but cause considerable distress and impairment in functioning. Unfortunately, there is a significant gap between the many youth who are in need of treatment and those who actually receive menfal health care (Burns et al., 1995; Leaf et al., 1996). According to the Surgeon General’s 1999 report on mental health, 6 to 9 million youngsters with emotional problems are not receiving the help they require (U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, 1999). The failure to provide treatment to youth represents a major public health concern (U.S. Public Health Service, 2000).