Degree Name

PhD (Doctor of Philosophy)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Jill D. Stinson

Committee Members

Alyson Chroust, Meredith Ginley, Rachel Miller-Slough


Polypharmacy, or the concurrent use of multiple medications, is associated with detrimental outcomes for patients and has gathered increasing attention within the scientific clinical literature. Pediatric populations warrant special consideration for the practice of polypharmacy, as medication effects are more pronounced in youth and adverse effects may have a lasting impact on development. This dissertation study examined psychotropic prescribing practices in a sample of adolescents who have engaged in sexually abusive behaviors, a subset of justice-involved youth who are at risk for polypharmacy. General prescribing trends were examined, and a principle components analysis involving variables associated with risk of polypharmacy was conducted. Results indicated that polypharmacy was common, with many youth being prescribed medications at a young age. Use of risky medications such as antipsychotics was also prevalent, even for individuals without psychosis. Analyses suggested that behavioral issues, trauma and residential instability, and complex psychological concerns were significantly associated with polypharmacy outcomes. Clinical implications of findings are discussed.

Document Type

Dissertation - embargo


Copyright by the authors.