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Health Care, Family, and Community Factors Associated with Mental, Behavioral, and Developmental Disorders and Poverty Among Children Aged 2–8 Years — United States, 2016
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  • Alternative Title:
    MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep
  • Description:
    Childhood mental, behavioral, and developmental disorders (MBDDs) are associated with adverse outcomes that can persist into adulthood (1,2). Pediatric clinical settings are important for identifying and treating MBDDs (3). Early identification and treatment of MBDDs can promote healthy development for all children (4), especially those living in poverty who are at increased risk for MBDDs (3,5) but might have reduced access to care (6). CDC analyzed data from the 2016 National Survey of Children's Health (NSCH) on MBDDs, risk factors, and use of federal assistance programs (e.g., Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program [SNAP]) to identify points to reach children in poverty. In line with previous research (3,6), compared with children in higher-income households, those in lower-income households more often had ever received a diagnosis of an MBDD (22.1% versus 13.9%), and less often had seen a health care provider in the previous year (80.4% versus 93.8%). Among children living below 200% of the federal poverty level (FPL) who did not see a health care provider in the previous year, seven of 10 were in families receiving at least one public assistance benefit. Public assistance programs might offer collaboration opportunities to provide families living in poverty with information, co-located screening programs or services, or connection to care.

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