Antipsychotics Rise in Youth, But Hospitalization Rates Stay the Same


Researchers from Tufts and Harvard find in a review of 233 medical charts of psychiatrically hospitalized youth at three points in time (1991, 1998 and 2008) that rates of  psychotropic medication use rose over time, while rates of hospitalization for youth with more severe psychiatric disorders stayed the same. Results appear online in Psychiatric Quarterly.

Abstract → Meagher, S., Rajan, A., Wyshak, G., Goldstein, J. “Changing Trends in Inpatient Care for Psychiatrically Hospitalized Youth: 1991-2008.” Psychiatric Quarterly 2012 DOI 10.1007/s11126-012-9235-1

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Kermit Cole
Kermit Cole, MFT, founding editor of Mad in America, works in Santa Fe, New Mexico as a couples and family therapist. Inspired by Open Dialogue, he works as part of a team and consults with couples and families that have members identified as patients. His work in residential treatment — largely with severely traumatized and/or "psychotic" clients — led to an appreciation of the power and beauty of systemic philosophy and practice, as the alternative to the prevailing focus on individual pathology. A former film-maker, he has undergraduate and master's degrees in psychology from Harvard University, as well as an MFT degree from the Council for Relationships in Philadelphia. He is a doctoral candidate with the Taos Institute and the Free University of Brussels. You can reach him at [email protected].


  1. This is strange because I remember reading several things in recent years that said hospitalization of children for psychiatric illness has skyrocketed in the last 15 years. It’s too bad I cant remember exactly where I read them. Maybe it was here? I just know I read something about there being like a 20-fold increase, or something remarkable.

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