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The effect of mental disorders may be particularly detrimental in early adulthood, and information on mental disorders and their correlates in this age group is important.
A questionnaire focusing on mental health was sent to a nationally representative two-stage cluster sample of 1863 Finns aged 19 to 34 years. Based on a mental health screen, all screen-positives and a random sample of screen-negatives were asked to participate in a mental health assessment, consisting of the Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV (SCID-I) interview and neuropsychological assessment. We also obtained case-notes from all lifetime mental health treatments. This paper presents prevalences, sociodemographic associations and treatment contacts for current and lifetime mental disorders.
Forty percent of these young Finnish adults had at least one lifetime DSM-IV Axis I disorder, and 15% had a current disorder. The most common lifetime disorders were depressive disorders (17.7%) followed by substance abuse or dependence (14.2%) and anxiety disorders (12.6%). Of persons with any lifetime Axis I disorder, 59.2% had more than one disorder. Lower education and unemployment were strongly associated with current and lifetime disorders, particularly involving substance use. Although 58.3% of persons with a current Axis I disorder had received treatment at some point, only 24.2% had current treatment contact. However, 77.1% of persons with a current Axis I disorder who felt in need of treatment for mental health problems had current treatment contact.
Mental disorders in young adulthood are common and often co-morbid, and they may be particularly harmful for education and employment in this age group.
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