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Psychiatric Hospitalization Among Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Abstract

This study examined predictors of psychiatric hospitalization among children with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Data were collected from 760 caregivers of children with ASD. Cox regression was used to determine factors associated with hospitalization. Almost 11% were hospitalized. Youth in single parent homes were more likely to be hospitalized (OR = 2.54), as were youth diagnosed at a later age (OR = 1.10). Engaging in self-injurious behavior (OR = 2.14), aggressive behavior (OR = 4.83), and being diagnosed with depression (OR = 2.48) or obsessive compulsive disorder (OR = 2.35) increased the odds of hospitalization. Risk for hospitalization increased with age and over time. The results suggest early diagnosis and community-based interventions for aggressive and self-injurious behaviors may reduce hospitalizations.

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Acknowledgments

Support for this study was provided by a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Health (ME02271) and a mentored scientist career development award from the National Institute of Mental Health (MH067628).

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Correspondence to David S. Mandell.

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Mandell, D.S. Psychiatric Hospitalization Among Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. J Autism Dev Disord 38, 1059–1065 (2008). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10803-007-0481-2

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Keywords

  • Autistic disorder
  • Hospitalization
  • Health services