Recommended

American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry – Families and Youth (Mental Health)

The American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) website consists predominately of brief overviews of common mental health conditions and issues affecting children and teens. ADHD, Autism, Depression, and Bipolar Disorder are covered in detail, as are the symptoms of other common conditions. The site is recommended as basic introduction to some conditions and issues in child and adolescent psychology, much of it superficial and outdated.

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Review Date: 9/24/2019

Scoring

Ease of Use

The uncomplicated website breaks down mental health into the fourteen most common conditions affecting children and teens. Each condition has its own page with a variety of links that users can scroll and browse with ease. ADHD, Autism, Depression, and Bipolar Disorder are covered in detail, but difficult to find, since they are part of medication guides. The user must sometimes gather information from many locations to form a complete picture.

Visual Design

The visual design isn't impressive, but it won't impede the user's experience either. Most pages are long lists of resources. Thankfully the site provides section headers and the occasional embedded video to make the material more manageable.

Quality

This website provides variable quality materials to the public. ADHD, Autism, Depression, and Bipolar Disorder are covered in detail as are seventeen symptom topics. However, most other mental health conditions and issues are summarized quickly and only provide a general understanding of each. The downloadable medication guides are well referenced with recent publications, but the true quality of all other information is difficult to know since it is not referenced.

Credibility

Although the medication guides, only a small part of the site, have many credentialed contributors, individual site topics do not list authors/editors. Dates of publication/revision vary across the website. Medication guide authors well credentialed, but the AACAP editorial process does lend credibility to the information. Individual site topics have regular review, but vary from recent to more than 4 years ago. The medication guides and other fact sheets, except for one, were all created over 2 years ago with no evidence of updates.

Pros

  1. Detailed and high quality medication guides for treatment of ADHD, Autism, Depression, and bipolar disorder includes detailed information about the condition
  2. Resource center deals with helpful information about fourteen common mental health conditions and issues such as anxiety, OCD, Disasters, and Suicide
  3. Writing is easy to digest and covers many broad topics in plain language
  4. Separate section for families and older children & adolescents

Cons

  1. Individual site topics do not list authors/editors of the information
  2. Much of the information is dated
  3. No option to filter search results makes it difficult to search the site for specific information
  4. Visual design is outdated and lacks graphic appeal

Profile

Sponsors / Affiliations: The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit professional association established in 1953

Accreditations: None

Additional Features: Downloadable fact, links to some assistance programs, such as youth groups, specialist finder, links to additional information, videos, including ones featuring teens discussing firsthand experiences with mental illness, FAQs

Languages: English, Spanish, Chinese

Contact: communications@aacap.org

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