Faculty & Staff

Back to Publications

Prevalence of Serious Emotional Disturbance in Children and Adolescents

Publication Link Available in hard copy only on this site

FMHI Publication ID:



estimation methodology, serious emotional disturbance, epidemiology


Robert Friedman


This chapter presents the findings of a group of technical experts who met to consider estimation methodologies for establishing prevalence of children with serious emotional disturbance. The chapter consists of the definition of serious emotional disturbance developed by the Center for Mental Health Services, a discussion of how this definition was operationalized, the general approach used to develop the estimation methodology, the data bases used, and the findings from these data bases. The report concludes with a recommendation for an estimation methodology, a discussion of important gaps in the existing knowledge base, and suggestions for addressing these limitations.


Friedman, R. M., Katz-Leavy, J. W., Manderscheid, R., & Sondheimer, D. (1996). Prevalence of Serious Emotional Disturbance in Children and Adolescents. In R. Manderscheid and M. Sonnenschein (Eds.) Mental Health, United States: 1996 (pp. 71-89). Washington, DC: U.S. Government Printing Office, DHHS Publication Number (SMA)96-3098.