Handbook of Psychological Services for Children and Adolescents

By Jan N. Hughes; Annette M. La Greca et al. | Go to book overview

1
The Practice of Psychology
with Children, Adolescents,
and Their Families

A Look to the Future
ROBERT M. FRIEDMAN

The practice of psychology with children, adolescents, and their families in the future promises to be both increasingly important and a great challenge. This chapter presents some of the demographic and epidemiologic issues likely to affect that practice, then discusses some of the rapidly changing clinical, financial, and system issues and the implications that they are likely to have.


Demographics of Children

The first issue is the overall growth in the population of children (defined as individuals under the age of 18). According to the 1998 Kids Count Data Book (Annie E. Casey Foundation, 1998), the population of children under age 18 in the United States was slightly over 69 million in 1996, and it is expected to increase by about 4% to almost 72 million by year 2005. Even more significant is the fact that the population of children between the ages of 13 and 17 is expected to increase by 12% during this same time period (from 18,973,200 to 21,223,800). Because it is the adolescent population that is most likely to be the recipient of mental health and other related services, this by itself speaks to an increasing need.

The Kids Count Data Book (Annie E. Casey Foundation, 1998) also indicates that in 23 states and the District of Columbia an increase of 10% or more is projected in the population of children between 13 and 17 years of age from 1996 to 2005. Of the five states that have the largest populations of children (California, Texas, New York, Florida, and Illinois), the growth rate during this time period for 13- to 17-year-olds will be 16% or greater in four states (the exception is Illinois,

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