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Prevalence of Psychiatric Disorders High After Juvenile Detention

TUESDAY, April 6, 2021 -- For youth in a temporary juvenile detention center, the prevalence of psychiatric disorders is high 15 years after detention, according to a study published online April 5 in JAMA Pediatrics.

Linda A. Teplin, Ph.D., from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, and colleagues examined the prevalence, comorbidity, and continuity of 13 psychiatric disorders among 1,829 youth detained in a juvenile justice facility during the 15 years after detention. Participants were interviewed in detention at age 10 to 18 years and were reinterviewed up to 12 times during a 15-year study period through February 2015.

The researchers found that as the participants aged, the prevalence and comorbidity of psychiatric disorders decreased; however, at 15 years after detention, 52.3 and 30.9 percent of men and women, respectively, had at least one psychiatric disorder. Of the participants with a disorder at baseline, 64.3 and 34.8 percent of men and women, respectively, had a disorder 15 years later. Men had 3.37 times the odds of persisting with a psychiatric disorder at 15 years after baseline compared with women. Non-Hispanic Whites had increased odds of behavioral disorders compared with Black and Hispanic participants (odds ratios, 1.56 and 1.59, respectively) and increased odds of substance use disorders (odds ratios, 1.90 and 1.39, respectively) throughout the follow-up period. Fifteen years after detention, behavioral disorders and substance use disorders were the most prevalent.

"Clearly, we must expand mental health services during detention and when these youth return to their communities," Teplin said in a statement.

One author received royalties on professional books from American Psychiatric Association Publishing.

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