Teens who’ve spent time in the
juvenile justice system have
higher rates of psychiatric
disorders, new research finds.
BY TORI DEANGELIS
ntil now, no one has documented on a large scale what
happens to the mental health of young people who have
been in the juvenile justice system. A study in the Oct. 1
Archives of General Psychiatry fills that gap. The results
are sobering: More than 45 percent of young men and
The most prevalent conditions at five years were substance
use disorders and disruptive behavior disorders, particularly
among non-Hispanic white males, the data also show.
30 percent of young women had one or more psychiatric
disorders five years after detention, generally representing much
higher rates of disorders than in the overall youth population.
For instance, 20 percent of males in the study had substance use
disorder, compared with 7 percent in the National Comorbidity
Survey, the authors found.