Associations between magnitude of child maltreatment and Medicaid expenditures for psychotropic medications

Ramesh Raghavan, Derek S. Brown, Benjamin T. Allaire, Raven E. Ross, John Landsverk

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Objective: This study examined relationships between various measures of the severity of child maltreatment and expenditures on psychotropic drugs among children in the welfare system. Methods: Child participants (N=4,453) in the first National Survey of Child and Adolescent Well-Being (NSCAW) were linked to their Medicaid claims from 36 states. Three specifications for severity of maltreatment were developed. A two-part regression of logistic and generalized linear models of expenditures on psychotropic medications was estimated for each specification. Results: Physically abused children had higher odds (odds ratio [OR]=1.34) and neglected children had lower odds (OR=.76) of incurring psychotropic drug expenditures. Children who experienced the most severe level of harm had higher odds (OR=1.33) of medication use, compared with children without appreciable harm. No maltreatment specifications were associated with increased expenditures on psychotropic drugs. Conclusions: The magnitude of maltreatment affected odds of use of psychotropic drugs but had no effect on Medicaid expenditures for these drugs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)916-919
Number of pages4
JournalPsychiatric Services
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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