Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology

, Volume 48, Issue 10, pp 1555–1567

Prevalence of mental health disorders among low-income African American adolescents

  • Gayle R. Byck
  • John Bolland
  • Danielle Dick
  • Alan W. Ashbeck
  • Brian S. Mustanski
Original Paper

DOI: 10.1007/s00127-013-0657-3

Cite this article as:
Byck, G.R., Bolland, J., Dick, D. et al. Soc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol (2013) 48: 1555. doi:10.1007/s00127-013-0657-3

Abstract

Purpose

Data on the prevalence of mental health disorders for low-income, urban African American adolescents are scarce. This study presents data about the burden of mental disorders for this understudied population.

Methods

Mental disorders were assessed using the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children (C-DISC), Youth Self-Report (YSR), and Child Behavior Checklist (CBCL) among a sample of adolescents and their caregivers from very impoverished neighborhoods in a Southern city.

Results

Based on the C-DISC, 3.8, 5.1 and 7.7 % of adolescents met diagnostic criteria for major depression, post-traumatic stress disorder, and conduct disorder, respectively. There were significant differences among some of the mental health disorders based on adolescent and caregiver characteristics such as sex, school status, caregiver work status, and income level. We found a low prevalence of alcohol, marijuana, and substance abuse and dependence disorders.

Conclusions

Information about the prevalence of mental health disorders in specific communities and populations can assist in addressing unmet needs, planning for services and treatment, and reducing health disparities.

Keywords

Adolescent mental healthDepressionConduct disorderPost-traumatic stressDisorderAfrican American

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gayle R. Byck
    • 1
  • John Bolland
    • 2
  • Danielle Dick
    • 3
  • Alan W. Ashbeck
    • 1
  • Brian S. Mustanski
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Medical Social Sciences, Feinberg School of MedicineNorthwestern UniversityChicagoUSA
  2. 2.College of Human Environmental SciencesUniversity of AlabamaTuscaloosaUSA
  3. 3.Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral GeneticsVirginia Commonwealth University Department of PsychiatryRichmondUSA