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Psychotropic Medications

  • By: Angela La Rosa, Ronald T. Brown & Lilless McPherson Shilling
  • In: Encyclopedia of School Psychology
  • Edited by: Steven W. Lee
  • Subject:School/Educational Psychology (general), School Psychology, Educational Psychology

Important advances in psychotropic medications and significant developments in neuroscience have complemented our growing knowledge about the structural and functional differences of the central nervous system (CNS) in children diagnosed with learning disorders and emotional problems (Brown & Sammons, 2002). However, in spite of these recent advances, researchers and clinicians note that clinical use of psychotropic medications in children exceeds our knowledge about the efficacy and safety of these drugs. Unfortunately, no statistical database exists on how many children and adolescents are receiving psychotropic medications for specific disorders. However, some surveys with specific psychotropic drugs (i.e., stimulants) suggest increased use of these drugs (Safer & colleagues, 1999). The psychiatric disorders for which psychotropic medications have been most used include attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), autism, ...

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