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May 1990

Uncommon Troubles in Young People:Prevalence Estimates of Selected Psychiatric Disorders in a Nonreferred Adolescent Population

Author Affiliations

From the Division of Child Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and New York State Psychiatric Institute, New York, NY (Drs Whitaker, Johnson, Shaffer, Kalikow, and Walsh, Mr Davies and Mss Braiman and Dolinsky); and the Child Psychiatry Branch, National Institute of Mental Health, Bethesda, Md (Dr Rapoport).

Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1990;47(5):487-496. doi:10.1001/archpsyc.1990.01810170087013

• A two-stage epidemiologic strategy was used to estimate the lifetime prevalence of selected DSM-III—defined psychiatric disorders in a county-wide secondary school population (N = 5596). Screening tests used in the first stage included items based on DSM-III criteria for eating disorders and panic disorder, as well as the Leyton Obsessional Inventory—Child Version and the Beck Depression Inventory. Based on interviews (n = 356) by clinicians in the second stage, the lifetime prevalence of anorexia nervosa was 9.2%; bulimia, 2.5%; panic disorder, 0.6%; obsessive-compulsive disorder, 1.9%; major depression, 4.0%; dysthymic disorder, 4.9%; and generalized anxiety disorder, 3.7%. While rates of mental health service utilization varied greatly by diagnosis, only 41% of students who were assigned both a diagnosis and a rating of impairment had received any kind of clinical attention.

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