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Increased rates of psychosocial disorders in youth.

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  • 1Institute of Psychiatry/MRC Child Psychiatry Unit, London, UK.


The evidence for an increased incidence of rates of psychosocial disorders including depression, suicide, delinquency, eating disorders, and drug and alcohol abuse is summarized. Findings from prospective studies, family genetic studies, community surveys, repeated cross-sectional surveys, and data from mortality and police statistics suggest that the increase over time of several of these disorders is supported by epidemiological evidence, particularly for suicide, delinquency, addictive behaviors, and depression. Several studies also indicate that an earlier age of onset for these disorders is seen in the most recent birth cohorts, with most of these disorders having their onset in adolescent years. The implications of these findings for child psychiatric treatment and services are discussed.

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