It is estimated that one in ten children in the U.S. suffers from serious emotional disturbances that disrupt their functioning in homes, schools and communities. Around 8% of these children need to be admitted to residential treatment because their behaviour is seriously threatening their own, or other people's, safety. These children have often been described as immature and primitive in their relationships and social competence but little formal research has been done in this area. Jodi Morstein Groot from Utah University looked into this issue in a sample of 113 young people. She found that 71% of the sample met clinical behavioural problem levels and that their social competence was at a level of people four years younger.
Groot, Jodi Morstein - Assessing behavior and social competence of severely emotionally disturbed youth admitted to psychiatric residential treatment Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Nursing August 2009, 22(3), 143-149