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Psychiatric disorders and health service utilization in unemployed youth

[journal article]

Reissner, Volker; Rosien, Meike; Jochheim, Kai; Kuhnigk, Olaf; Dietrich, Hans; Hollederer, Alfons; Hebebrand, Johannes

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Abstract Aim: Youth unemployment is associated with increased levels of anxiety, depression, alcohol abuse, reduced self-esteem and satisfaction with life. Up to date data based on standardized psychiatric diagnostic assessments in adolescent or young adult unemployment is very scarce. To our knowledge, this study has, for the first time, assessed both Axis-I (non-personality) and Axis-II (personality) psychiatric disorders and related constructs in a preselected sample of unemployed individuals. Subjects and methods: Subjects were aged 16–24 and lived in the large urban region of Essen, Germany. They were referred by case managers of the vocational services centre to the on-site psychiatric out-patient unit. SCID-I and II were administered to assess DSM-IV diagnoses. Symptom Checklist 90 R, Beck Depression Inventory and Client Sociodemographic Service Receipt Inventory were used to measure severity of psychopathology and health service utilization. Results: In all, 98% of the unemployed young adults suffered from mental disorders. Mood and anxiety disorders were the most common Axis-I disorders (47.9 and 33.4%). Altogether, 58.2% of probands met diagnostic criteria for a personality disorder; a borderline personality disorder accounted for one half of these disorders. Despite a 49% rate of Axis-I and II comorbidity and severe psychopathology, the majority of subjects were untreated and mental health service utilization in general was low. The diagnosis of a personality disorder was related to a 2.7-fold risk of dropping out of job reintegration programmes. Conclusion: Unemployed young adults referred for a psychiatric assessment have a high rate of both Axis-I and II disorders, which need to be considered upon planning individual-based vocational rehabilitation programs.
Classification Developmental Psychology; Labor Market Research
Free Keywords Youth unemployment; Mental health; Personality disorder; Health service utilization; SUPPORT25
Document language English
Publication Year 2010
Page/Pages p. 13-20
Journal Journal of Public Health, 19 (2010) 1 Suppl.
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10389-010-0387-x
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)