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Arch Gen Psychiatry. 1990 May;47(5):487-96.

Uncommon troubles in young people: prevalence estimates of selected psychiatric disorders in a nonreferred adolescent population.

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  • 1Department of Psychiatry, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, NY.


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 0.2%; 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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