Previous studies have suggested that youths detained in juvenile justice facilities are at a higher risk of having psychiatric disorders. However, not much is known about the course of these disorders and their association with age. The objective of this study is to assess the prevalence, comorbidity, and continuity of psychiatric disorders in juveniles detained in juvenile facilities.
This longitudinal cohort study included a total of 1,829 randomly selected youths aged 10 to 18 years. Eligible participants had at least one detention in a juvenile justice facility. The primary endpoint of the study was a diagnosis of psychiatric disorders.
The findings suggested that the prevalence and comorbidity of psychiatric disorders decreased as the patients aged. However, 52.3% of males and 30.9% of females had at least one or more psychiatric disorders within 15 years after the detention. 64.3% of males and 34.8% of females among participants with a disorder at baseline had a disorder 15 years later. It was also found that males were at 3.37 times higher risk of persisting with a psychiatric disorder than females.
The research concluded that youths detained in juvenile justice facilities were at a higher risk of having psychiatric disorders, with males being at higher odds of persisting with them.
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