Childhood psychiatric disorder and unintentional injury: Findings from a national cohort study

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Objective We set out to examine the relationship between unintentional injury and common child psychiatric disorders, including both internalizing and externalizing diagnoses. Methods The 1999 British Child and Adolescent Mental Health Survey provided a nationally representative sample of over 10,000 children aged 5-15 years. Measures included assessment of diagnoses of psychiatric disorder from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth edition, unintentional injury, and a range of potentially related psychosocial factors. Results Children with psychiatric disorders had higher rates of unintentional injury. After accounting for psychosocial risk factors and comorbid psychopathology, oppositional defiant disorder (ODD) was independently associated with burns and poisoning. Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) was related to fractures, and depression and anxiety also showed independent links to some injury types. Conclusions ODD and ADHD, rather than conduct disorder, appear to be the externalizing disorders associated with unintentional injury. We discuss possible models of the relationships between internalizing disorders and unintentional injury.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)119 - 130
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Pediatric Psychology
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2004


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