Policy Statement on Psychologists Prescribing

AACAP opposes any legislation or regulation at the state or federal level that would grant psychologists prescribing privileges

Mental illness and psychotropic medications affect not only the developing brain but all organ systems. Child and adolescent psychiatrists obtain a four-year medical education with a focus on anatomy, physiology and pharmacology. During the subsequent five years of residency training, child and adolescent psychiatrists receive extensive clinical supervision in evidence-based treatments and management of medications and side effects. We oppose psychologists prescribing medication because psychologists do not have a medical education that is essential for the appropriate and safe prescription of medications.


The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry promotes the healthy development of children, adolescents, and families through advocacy, education, and research. Child and adolescent psychiatrists are the leading physician authority on children’s mental health.

Approved by Council September 2017