Objective: The authors studied enrollees in the State Children's Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) (Title XXI) to characterize risk factors for psychosocial dysfunction among children of the working poor. Methods: Medical and psychosocial variables were included in a survey completed by 393 parents of children enrolled in SCHIP. Regression analysis was used to examine the relationship between these variables and scores on the Pediatric Symptom Checklist, a measure of psychosocial dysfunction among children. Results: Stepwise multiple regression showed that parental dysphoria, parental history of psychiatric or substance use problems, childhood chronic medical illness, and exposure to traumatic events each contributed independently to variance in psychosocial dysfunction in this population, explaining 34 percent of total variance. Conclusions: Despite strong progress in implementing SCHIP at the state level, the behavioral health care needs of children of the working poor have not been well defined. This study identified risk factors that can be easily found in the patient's medical record or detected during an interview by the primary care physician. Thus screening to identify children at risk of psychosocial dysfunction is warranted among SCHIP enrollees.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Psychiatry and Mental health