This study examined the prevalence, continuity, and comorbidity of psychiatric disorders among youths during the 15 years after their detention in a juvenile justice facility, and whether outcomes varied by sex and race/ethnicity.
In this cohort study of 1,829 youths who were detained in a juvenile justice facility, 64 percent of males and 35 percent of females with a psychiatric disorder during detention had a disorder 15 years later. Substance use and behavioral disorders were more common among non-Hispanic white youths than Hispanic and Black youths. This study’s findings suggest that persistent psychiatric disorders may complicate the transition from adolescence to adulthood among youths who have been detained in a juvenile justice facility; the pediatric health community should advocate for early identification and treatment of disorders among this population. (publisher abstract modified)