Adolescent Psychiatric Hospitalization and Mortality, Distress Levels, and Educational Attainment: Follow-up After 11 and 20 Years | Adolescent Medicine | JAMA Pediatrics | JAMA Network
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Article
August 2004

Adolescent Psychiatric Hospitalization and Mortality, Distress Levels, and Educational Attainment: Follow-up After 11 and 20 Years

Author Affiliations

From the Department of Psychiatry and Biobehavioral Sciences and Neuropsychiatric Institute, David Geffen School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles (Dr Best); Judge Baker Children's Center and Department of Psychiatry, Harvard Medical School, Boston, Mass (Drs Best, Hauser, and Gralinski-Bakker); Department of Psychology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville (Dr Allen); and Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, State University of New York at Stony Brook (Dr Crowell).

Arch Pediatr Adolesc Med. 2004;158(8):749-752. doi:10.1001/archpedi.158.8.749
Abstract

Background  Adolescents with early psychiatric hospitalization are likely to be at a significant risk for long-term difficulties.

Objective  To examine early adulthood outcomes of psychiatrically hospitalized adolescents.

Design  Inception cohort recruited from 1978 to 1981 and observed until 2002.

Setting  Northeastern United States.

Participants  Adolescents (aged 12-15 years) from 2 matched cohorts were recruited and assessed repeatedly across 20 years: 70 psychiatrically hospitalized youths and 76 public high school students.

Main Outcome Measures  Death, emotional distress, high school completion, and educational attainment.

Results  Psychiatrically hospitalized youths were significantly more likely to die and to report higher levels of emotional distress. Hospitalized youths were significantly less likely to graduate from high school and complete college and graduate school.

Conclusions  The association between psychiatric symptoms sufficient to result in psychiatric hospitalization during adolescence and later mortality, emotional distress, high school completion, and educational attainment is striking. Further study is needed to identify and understand linkages between adolescent psychiatric impairment and decrements in adult functioning, particularly the processes that may underlie these linkages. Increasing school completion and educational attainment among hospitalized youths may minimize decrements in adult adaptation.

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