Between 1995 and 1998, researchers from Northwestern University Medical School interviewed 1,829 youth detained at the juvenile facility in Cook County, Ill., as part of a longitudinal study of the health issues and outcomes of youth in juvenile detention.
The investigators conducted follow-up interviews from 2001 to 2003 in order to assess longer-term outcomes related to:
- Substance abuse
- Psychiatric disorders
- HIV/AIDS risk behaviors.
The investigators reported these key findings from the initial interviews completed between 1995 and 1998:
Half of the males and 46.8 percent of females had a substance use disorder.
Nearly two-thirds of males and nearly three-quarters of females met diagnostic criteria for one or more psychiatric disorders.
Nearly 14 percent of females and 11 percent of males had both a major psychiatric disorder and a substance use disorder.
Drug risk behaviors were common among both males and females, particularly among non-Hispanic white and Hispanic youth.
More males than females engaged in sexual risk behaviors, with a higher prevalence of such behavior among African-American males than among non-Hispanic white males.