Research Update
The Child and Adolescent Psychologist Workforce
Project Background
One in six children aged two to eight in the United States have been diagnosed with a behavioral health disorder, and one in five adolescents aged thirteen to eighteen have experienced a severe behavioral health disorder, per a previous study from 2015. Few of these children and adolescents receive mental health services.

This study, led by the American Psychological Association, determines the amount of licensed psychologists with various specializations nationwide who treat children and adolescents with behavioral health disorders. Three data sources were used: 2015 APA Survey of Psychology Health Service Providers, NPPES/NPI Registry, ABPP Board Certifications.
Nationwide, there were 5.4 clinical child and adolescent psychologists per 100,000 population under 18 years old. Geographically, the District of Columbia (31.2 per 100,000 population under 18), Rhode Island (23.5), and Massachusetts (21.1) had the highest concentrations of clinical child and adolescent psychologists, while Mississippi (1.0), Louisiana (1.1), and West Virginia (1.6) had the lowest. The majority of counties (80.1%) in the United States had no clinical child and adolescent psychologists.
Nearly half (49%) of clinical child and adolescent psychologists worked in private practice. The majority frequently or very frequently provided services for anxiety disorders (83%), depressive disorders (73%), and disruptive, impulse control, and conduct disorders (58%). Clinical child and adolescent psychologists also reported higher overall cultural competency ratings.
Authored in Partnership with the American Psychological Association.
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