Background. As part of a longitudinal study, prevalence
findings of DSM-IV disorders are presented
for a random sample of 3021 respondents aged 14 to 24, with
response rate 71%.
Method. Assessment included various subtypes of disorders,
subthreshold conditions and disorders
that have only rarely been studied in other epidemiological surveys.
The computer-assisted Munich-Composite International Diagnostic
Interview (M-CIDI) was used to derive DSM-IV diagnoses.
Results. Substance disorders were the most frequent
(lifetime 17·7%; 12-month 11·4%), with abuse
being considerably more frequent than dependence. Other
mental disorders had a lifetime
prevalence of 27·5% (12-month, 17·5%) with
depressive disorders (16·8%) being more frequent
than anxiety disorders (14·4%). Eating disorders (3·0%)
and threshold somatoform disorders
(1·2%) were rare disorders. Subthreshold anxiety and
somatoform disorders, however, were more
frequent than threshold disorders. Prevalence of disorders was
equally high for males and females,
although specific disorder prevalence varied significantly by
gender. The co-occurrence of disorders
(co-morbidity) was substantial and was significantly related to
greater reductions in work
productivity and increased rates of professional helpseeking behaviour.
Conclusions. Findings underline that mental disorders in
young adults are frequent and impairing,
limiting work and education ability and social interaction. Given
the fact that adolescents and
young adults are in a key phase of socialization in terms of
professional career and interpersonal
relationships, our findings indicate a considerable risk potential
for an accumulation of complicating
factors and future chronicity. This paper is the first report
of this ongoing longitudinal study about
early developmental conditions of mental disorders.