European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

, Volume 26, Issue 12, pp 1459–1469 | Cite as

NEET adolescents grown up: eight-year longitudinal follow-up of education, employment and mental health from adolescence to early adulthood in Mexico City

  • Raúl A. Gutiérrez-García
  • Corina Benjet
  • Guilherme Borges
  • Enrique Méndez Ríos
  • María Elena Medina-Mora
Original Contribution


The purpose is to examine the socio-demographic and mental health outcomes in early adulthood of those who as adolescents were not in education, employment or training, termed NEET, compared to their counterparts who studied, worked, or both. One thousand and seventy-one youth residing in Mexico City participated in a representative, prospective, longitudinal 8-year two-Wave cohort study. At Wave I the participants were aged 12–17 and at Wave II aged 19 and 26. The Composite International Diagnostic Interview assessed psychiatric disorders, substance use and abuse, suicidal behavior, interpersonal relationships, employment and education. The main finding of this study is that being NEET in adolescence was associated with several socio-demographic and mental health outcomes in early adulthood, above and beyond baseline socioeconomic disadvantage and mental health compared to their peers, particularly their peers who studied only or studied and worked. NEET youth were not that different from their peers who worked exclusively highlighting the protective value of keeping youth in school. The strongest differences between NEET youth and all their peer groups were their increased risks of incident suicidal behaviors. Social policies are needed for creating more educational opportunities, greater support for retention of students, and programs to facilitate the transition from school to the labor market considering cultural attitudes towards life trajectory expectations.


Youth Education Employment Psychiatric disorders Mexico 


Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

On behalf of all authors, the corresponding author states that there is no conflict of interest.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Raúl A. Gutiérrez-García
    • 2
    • 3
  • Corina Benjet
    • 1
  • Guilherme Borges
    • 1
  • Enrique Méndez Ríos
    • 1
  • María Elena Medina-Mora
    • 1
  1. 1.Epidemiologic and Psychosocial ResearchNational Institute of Psychiatry Ramón de la Fuente MuñizMexico CityMexico
  2. 2.ResearchDe La Salle Bajio UniversityGuanajuatoMexico
  3. 3.Counseling ServiceUniversidad Politécnica de AguascalientesAguascalientesMexico

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