They found that "expansion of antipsychotic use was most prominent among youths who were Medicaid eligible because of low family income (SCHIP)" followed by those eligible through the TANF program. This increase reflected a significant increase in prescription of antipsychotics for behavior disorders and bipolar disorder rather than for treatment of schizophrenia, other psychoses, or pervasive developmental disorders. In fact, the researchers pointed out, "youths with externalizing behavior disorders far outnumbered those with [schizophrenia and pervasive developmental disorders] and constituted the largest group of utilizers of antipsychotic medications." In addition, the increase was significantly greater among African Americans and Hispanics that among white youth.
Read the full report of the study in Psychiatric Services. To read much more about the use of antipsychotics in children and adolescents, see Psychiatric News here and here.