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Mental health problems in youths committed to juvenile institutions : prevalences and treatment needs

[journal article]

Ståhlberg, Ola; Anckarsäter, Henrik; Nilsson, Thomas

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Please use the following Persistent Identifier (PID) to cite this document:http://nbn-resolving.de/urn:nbn:de:0168-ssoar-268527

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Abstract "Many international studies show that adolescents in coercive institutional care display high prevalences of mental disorders, especially in the form of disruptive behavior disorders [including attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (AD/HD), oppositional defiant disorder, and conduct disorder], anxiety disorders, and mood disorders. High degrees of overlap across mental disorders have also been reported. In addition, institutionalized adolescents are often traumatized. Despite this well-documented psychiatric morbidity, the mental health care needs of detained adolescents are often overlooked. The main objective of this study is to assess prevalences of psychiatric disorders, results of intelligence tests, and previous contacts with child and adolescent psychiatric services among adolescents in institutional care. DSM-IV diagnoses, mental health contacts, substance abuse, neurocognitive abilities, and school performance were registered in 100 adolescents (92 boys, 8 girls) aged 12–19 years (mean age 16.0; SD ± 1.5) consecutively committed to Swedish juvenile institutions between 2004 and 2007. At least one psychiatric disorder was diagnosed in 73% of the subjects: 48% met DSM-IV diagnostic criteria for AD/HD, 17% for an autism spectrum disorder, and 10% for a mental retardation. The collapsed prevalence for psychiatric disorders requiring specialist attention was 63%. Our data indicate that systematic diagnostic procedures are crucial in the treatment planning for institutionalized adolescents. Adequate treatment strategies need to be designed and implemented to meet the extensive mental health care needs of this vulnerable population." [author's abstract]
Classification Developmental Psychology; Psychological Testing, Psychological Counseling, Psychological Methodology
Free Keywords Adolescent psychiatry; Mental health; Attention deficit disorder with hyperactivity; Pervasive development disorders; Conduct disorder;
Document language English
Publication Year 2010
Page/Pages p. 893-903
Journal European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 19 (2010) 12
DOI http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00787-010-0137-1
Status Postprint; peer reviewed
Licence PEER Licence Agreement (applicable only to documents from PEER project)