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Economic cost of severe antisocial behaviour in children - and who pays it

  • Renee Romeo (a1), Martin Knapp (a2) and Stephen Scott (a3)
Abstract
Background

Persistent antisocial behaviour is the most common mental health problem in childhood and has widespread effects, yet little is known about what it costs.

Aims

To identify the costs incurred by children with antisocial behaviour in the UK, and who pays these costs.

Method

Eighty children aged 3–8 years referred to mental health services were studied using the Client Service Receipt Inventory for Childhood.

Results

The mean annual total cost was $ 5960 (median 4597, range 48–19 940). The services used were mainly the National Health Service, education and voluntary agencies, but the greatest cost burden, $4637, was borne by the family Higher cost was predicted by more severe behaviour and being male.

Conclusions

The annual cost of severe antisocial behaviour in childhood in the UK is substantial and widespread, involving several agencies, but the burden falls most heavily on the family Wider uptake of evidence-based interventions is likely to lead to considerable economic benefits in the short term, and probably even more in the long term.

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Copyright
Corresponding author
Dr Stephen Scott, Box PO 85, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Institute of Psychiatry, De Crespigny Park, London SE5 8AF, UK. E-mail: s.scott@iop.kcl.ac.uk
Footnotes
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Declaration of interest

None.

Funding detailed in Acknowledgements.

Footnotes
References
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The British Journal of Psychiatry
  • ISSN: 0007-1250
  • EISSN: 1472-1465
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Economic cost of severe antisocial behaviour in children - and who pays it

  • Renee Romeo (a1), Martin Knapp (a2) and Stephen Scott (a3)
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