Despite the intense media focus on children's mental health problems and medications to treat them, there is a lack of empirical evidence about public perceptions of child and adolescent disorders and their treatment. A special section of four reports presents data to close this knowledge gap. The research team, led by Bernice A. Pescosolido, Ph.D., a sociologist at Indiana University, analyzed data from the National Stigma Study-Children (NSS-C), the first large-scale nationally representative survey about public knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs in regard to children's mental health. The 2002 survey involved 1,393 adults interviewed as part of the General Social Survey (GSS), the longest-running monitor of American opinions. Overall, the NSS-C findings suggest that pervasive stigmatizing beliefs and attitudes may prevent children from receiving effective treatments. For example, nearly half the respondents believed that rejection at school is a likely consequence of getting treatment and that stigma associated with childhood treatment will have negative ramifications into adulthood. Negative attitudes toward medications predominated. Most respondents felt that doctors overmedicate children and that giving children medications "only delays dealing with their real problems." The media focus on attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) has raised awareness but appears to have been less successful in educating the public. Two-thirds of respondents said that they had heard of ADHD, but less than half were able to provide an answer that indicated specific knowledge about the disorder (page 611—635).