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Article   |    
Sociodemographic Characteristics of Dropouts From a Child Guidance Clinic
Paula Armbruster; Mary E. Schwab-Stone
Psychiatric Services 1994; doi:
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Child Study Center of Yale Urnversity School of Medicine;

1994 by the American Psychiatric Association

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This study examined the characteristics of families who dropped out and families who maintained contact with a children's psychiatric outpatient clinic through various phases of intake and treatment.Methods: One year after intake, the authors examined the status of all patients (N=555) who had sought treatment at an urban, university-affiliated children's psychiatric outpatient clinic over a two-year period and had completed the intake process. Factors associated with dropout were identified at four points in the clinic process: during intake, during evaluation, at completion of evaluation, and during treatment.Results: Urban residence, minority status, single-parent status, and Medicaid status were related to dropout at intake and during evaluation but not at subsequent clinic phases. Nonminority, twoparent, suburban famiies of higher socioeconomic status were more likely to drop out at the completion of the evaluation.Conclusions: These results indicate that factors associated with attrition vary with the clinic phase. Further investigations of the clinical course of minority children and families involved with children's mental health services are necessary to understand the needs of this population and to design interventions such as increasing minority staff and providing training in multicultural competence.

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