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Many Juvenile Detainees Have Psychiatric Disorders Later On

As many as half have disorders five years after release

TUESDAY, Oct. 2 (HealthDay News) -- As many as half of the children and adolescents who are in juvenile detention have psychiatric disorders five years after release, according to a study published in the October issue of the Archives of General Psychiatry.

Linda A. Teplin, Ph.D., from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, and colleagues examined the prevalence and persistence of psychiatric disorders among 1,829 youth (1,172 males and 657 females; 10 to 18 years old at baseline) who had been detained at the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center in Chicago.

At approximately five years after detention, the researchers found that 46.5 percent of males and 29.0 percent of females had at least one psychiatric disorder with associated impairment. Similarly, 51.7 percent of males and 40.8 percent of females had at least one psychiatric disorder without associated impairment. Substance use and disruptive behavior disorders were the most common, with males having higher rates over time compared with females. Non-Hispanic whites and Hispanics had higher rates of substance use disorders compared with African-Americans.

"Although prevalence rates of most psychiatric disorders declined as youth aged, a substantial proportion of delinquent youth continue to have disorders," Teplin and colleagues conclude.

One author disclosed financial ties to the pharmaceutical and health care technology industries.

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