Hospitalization for mental illness in a birth cohort
Newman, Spomenka Calic
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The current study focused on prevalence and risk of hospitalization for mental illness in young people. A birth cohort of 6401 subjects born between 1975 and 1976 was followed from birth to age 22, using the Finnish National Registry data. Mental health data were gathered longitudinally, using standardized diagnostic assessment and hospital admission records. Several significant findings emerged as a result of this study: The number of subjects hospitalized for mental illness increased longitudinally from childhood to early adulthood, subjects with chronic manifestations of mental illness showed significantly higher functional impairment than subjects hospitalized in only one developmental period, a significant portion of subjects hospitalized in childhood and early adolescence were hospitalized again before reaching adulthood. Hospitalized subjects were more likely to be male, from low socio-economic status, born to young mothers, and to multiparous mothers. With the exception of male gender, risk factors and functional impairment did not distinguish between subjects hospitalized at different developmental periods.