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Welcome from HRSA

Dear Colleagues:

The Maternal and Child Health Bureau of the Health Resources and Services Administration is pleased to present this chart book highlighting the major findings of the 2007 National Survey of Children’s Health in the area of children’s emotional, behavioral, and developmental health and well-being. 

This survey provides new information about the prevalence of emotional, behavioral, and developmental conditions in children ages 2 through 17, including depression, anxiety, ADD/ADHD, autism spectrum disorder, conduct disorders, developmental delay, and Tourette’s Syndrome.  Overall, these conditions affect 11.3 percent of children, or nearly 7.4 million children in the U.S. Of children with at least one of these seven conditions, 40.3 percent have more than one diagnosis, 45.8 percent also have learning disabilities, and one-third have one of seven chronic physical health conditions addressed in the survey.

Access to appropriate, comprehensive care through a medical home is a particular challenge for this population.  While children with emotional, behavioral, or developmental conditions are no more likely than other children to be uninsured, their insurance is less likely to adequately meet their needs, and they are less likely to receive care through a medical home. Moreover, fewer than half (45.6 percent) of children who need mental health services for their conditions receive those services.

The effects of emotional, behavioral, and developmental conditions may be felt in all aspects of children’s lives, including school, peer, and family relationships.  Children with at least one of these conditions are more likely than other children to repeat a grade, and are less likely to be engaged in school, according to their parents.  Moreover, both mothers and fathers of children with emotional, behavioral, or developmental conditions are less likely to report that they are in excellent or very good health than parents of children without these conditions. While these differences may not be the direct result of the children’s conditions, they shed light on the complexity of the issues faced by these children and their families.

We at the Health Resources and Services Administration hope that these findings provide new and useful information as you assess needs, plan programs, and design interventions to meet the multiple needs of this challenging population.

Sincerely,
Mary Wakefield, Ph.D., R.N.
Administrator, Department of Health and Human Services


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