Not all children grow from infancy through their adolescent years without experiencing some bumps along the way. While every child is unique and special, sometimes they encounter emotions, feelings or behavior that cause problems in their lives and the lives of those around them. Families often worry when their child or teenager has difficulty coping with things, feels sad, can't sleep, gets involved with drugs, or can't get along with family or friends.

AACAP's Facts for Families provide concise and up-to-date information on issues that affect children, teenagers, and their families. AACAP provides this important information as a public service and the Facts for Families may be duplicated and distributed free of charge as long as the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry is properly credited and no profit is gained from their use.

New and Updated Facts for Families

  • Gangs and Children - Gangs are groups of children, adolescents and young adults who share a common identity and are involved in wrongful or delinquent activities.
  • Residential Treatment Programs - Residential treatment programs provide intensive help for youth with serious emotional and behavior problems.
  • Teen Brain: Behavior, Problem Solving, and Decision Making - Many parents do not understand why their teenagers occasionally behave in an impulsive, irrational, or dangerous way.
  • Weight Gain from Medication: Prevention and Management - Psychiatric medications can be very helpful, even life-saving, for some children and adolescents.
  • Drinking Alcohol in Pregnancy (Fetal Alcohol Effects) - According to the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, pregnant women should not drink any form of alcohol.
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    If you find Facts for Families© helpful and would like to make good mental health a reality, consider donating to the Campaign for America’s Kids. Your support will help us continue to produce and distribute Facts for Families, as well as other vital mental health information, free of charge.

    You may also mail in your contribution. Please make checks payable to the AACAP and send to Campaign for America’s Kids, P.O. Box 96106, Washington, DC 20090.

    The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) represents over 8,700 child and adolescent psychiatrists who are physicians with at least five years of additional training beyond medical school in general (adult) and child and adolescent psychiatry.

    Facts for Families© information sheets are developed, owned and distributed by AACAP. Hard copies of Facts sheets may be reproduced for personal or educational use without written permission, but cannot be included in material presented for sale or profit. All Facts can be viewed and printed from the AACAP website ( Facts sheets may not be reproduced, duplicated or posted on any other website without written consent from AACAP. Organizations are permitted to create links to AACAP's website and specific Facts sheets. For all questions please contact the AACAP Communications & Marketing Coordinator, ext. 154.

    If you need immediate assistance, please dial 911.

    Copyright © 2015 by the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry.