Children and Adolescents With Schizophrenia

Assignment 1: Early Onset Schizophrenia Children and adolescents with schizophrenia have more difficulty functioning in academic or work settings, and significant impairment usually persists into adulthood. They may have speech or language disorders and in some cases borderline intellectual functioning. These individuals are more likely to complete suicide attempts or die from other accidental causes. Schizophrenia is characterized by positive and negative symptoms. Positive symptoms include hallucinations, delusions, and behavior disturbance. Negative symptoms include blunted affect and attention, apathy, and lack of motivation and social interest. In this Assignment, you compare treatment plans for adults diagnosed with schizophrenia with treatment plans for children and adolescents diagnosed with schizophrenia.

You also consider the legal and ethical issues involved in medicating children diagnosed with schizophrenia. Learning Objectives Students will: Children and Adolescents With Schizophrenia • Compare evidence-based treatment plans for adults versus children and adolescents diagnosed with schizophrenia • Analyze legal and ethical issues surrounding the forceful administration of medication to children diagnosed with schizophrenia • Analyze the role of the PMHNP in addressing issues related to the forceful administration of medication to children diagnosed with schizophrenia To Prepare for this Assignment: • Review the Learning Resources concerning early-onset schizophrenia. The Assignment: • Compare at least two evidence-based treatment plans for adults diagnosed with schizophrenia with evidence-based treatment plans for children and adolescents diagnosed with schizophrenia. • Explain the legal and ethical issues involved with forcing children diagnosed with schizophrenia to take medication for the disorder and how a PMHNP may address those issues. Note: The School of Nursing requires that all papers submitted include a title page, introduction, summary, and references. The Sample Paper provided at the Walden Writing Center provides an example of those required elements (available at All papers submitted must use this formatting Children and Adolescents With Schizophrenia.

Schizophrenia is a complex disorder of the mind that afflicts a paltry 1% of the global population. Schizophrenia can be examined through the neurodevelopmental model, which posits that the condition can be diagnosed in its early phase of development. However, according to numerous literature, the treatment regimens for both adults and children and adolescents are diametrically different (Arango-Lasprilla et al., 2012). The treatment of older adults entails the use of antipsychotics and psychosocial interventions. Psychosocial interventions include cognitive behavioral social skills training which have proven efficacious in managing the condition. According to researchers, a balanced approach encompassing first-generation antipsychotic medications and psychosocial interventions is recommended. On the other hand, the treatment of schizophrenia is lifelong even when symptoms wane. The treatment is guided by a team of personnel led by a psychiatrist. While in adults the treatment options were two, in children the options are four and they include medication, psychotherapy, hospitalization and life skills training (Brent, 2015). Regarding medications, second-generation antipsychotics are also used in addition to the first generation antipsychotics upon recommendation by a doctor Children and Adolescents With Schizophrenia.

Covert medication practice has been predominantly used to treat non-compliant patients. However, the usage of food to administer drugs raises several ethical and legal issues. The autonomy, competence and insight of schizophrenic children that are given medications covertly raise legal and ethical questions (Latha, 2010). According to contemporary ethical principles in medicine, giving a child medication in such a manner breaches trust by either a family member or a doctor. From the legal perspective, treatment minus consent is only permissible in a jurisdiction that such authority is conferred by the law Children and Adolescents With Schizophrenia.

However, the legality and ethics of forced medication can be addressed by a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. As part of her job description, a PMHNP nurse is allowed to perform diagnostic assessments on patients in addition to behavioral health services. Given that reluctance to take medication is a behavioral issue, a PMHN nurse may recommend several strategies among them covert medication. However, she can only do this as a last resort although it is directly under her professional mandate Children and Adolescents With Schizophrenia.


Arango-Lasprilla, J. C., Ojeda, N., Peña, J., Sánchez, P., Bengoetxea, E., Elizagárate, E., & … Gutiérrez Fraile, M. (2012). Efficiency of cognitive rehabilitation with REHACOP in chronic treatment resistant Hispanic patients. Neurorehabilitation, 30(1), 65-74.

Brent, B. K. (2015). A Mentalization-Based Approach to the Development of the Therapeutic Alliance in the Treatment of Schizophrenia. Journal Of Clinical Psychology, 71(2), 146-156.

Latha, K. S. (2010). The Noncompliant Patient in Psychiatry: The Case For and Against Covert/Surreptitious Medication. Mens Sana Monographs, 8(1), 96-121Children and Adolescents With Schizophrenia.

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