(HealthDay News) — For youth, the prevalence rates of psychiatric comorbidity decrease after detention; however, rates remain substantial and those with multiple disorders at baseline are at highest risk of disorders five years after detention, according to a study published online November 26 in JAMA Psychiatry.

Karen M. Abram, PhD, from the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, and colleagues conducted a prospective study of a stratified random sample of 1,829 youth recruited from the Cook County Juvenile Temporary Detention Center. The Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children Version 2.3 was administered at baseline, and the authors examined the comorbidity and continuity of psychiatry disorders after detention.

The researchers found that almost 27% of males and 14% of females had comorbid disorders five years after detention. In detention, females had significantly higher rates of comorbidity (odds ratio, 1.3), while at follow-up, males had significantly higher rates than females (odds ratio, 2.3). The most common comorbid profile among males was substance use plus behavioral disorders, which affected one in six. Even after adjustment for demographic characteristics, participants with more disorders at baseline were more likely to have a disorder about five years after detention.

“Only a concerted effort to address the many needs of delinquent youth will help them thrive in adulthood,” the authors write.

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One author disclosed receiving royalties from American Psychiatric Publishing for textbooks.

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