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Study shows links between foster care, multiple medications, and teen pregnancy []


Girls in foster care are more likely to be diagnosed with mental health conditions, be prescribed multiple medications and become pregnant as teenagers, according to a report by Wyoming researchers.

The study, which was conducted over an 11-year period and followed more than 5,000 15-year-old girls to their 18th birthdays, shows stark disparities in the challenges its subjects face. For instance, nearly 30 percent of 743 foster care girls on Medicaid gave birth by the time they turned 18. More than 63 percent of 16-year-olds in that group were diagnosed with a mental health issue.

For girls who were the same age but had private insurance and were not in foster care, less than 1.5 percent gave birth by 18. Just 13.5 percent of those 16-year-old girls had a mental health diagnosis.


The project started as part of an effort to understand the effects of polypharmacy, or the prescription of multiple medications to a single individual.

Find out more about what researchers in Wyoming found in this piece by Seth Klamann.

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