Although numerous scientifically supported treatments are available for childhood psychiatric disorders, many of the most popular interventions for these conditions are based on weak or nonexistent data. This article offers basic guidelines for distinguishing scientifically supported from unsupported treatments for 3 important childhood psychiatric disorders: autistic disorder, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder, and conduct disorder. A key challenge for the future will be to place the treatment of childhood psychiatric disorders on firmer scientific footing.

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