The relationship between outpatient mental health treatment and subsequent mental health symptoms and disorders in young adults

Richard A. Van Dorn, Rick Kosterman, James Herbert Williams, Kristen Chandler, M. Scott Young, Richard F. Catalano, J. David Hawkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations

Abstract

The objective of this study was to evaluate community-based outpatient mental health services for young adults. Participants were interviewed at ages 21, 24, 27, and 30. Outcomes included: (1) symptoms of depression, generalized anxiety, social phobia, dysthymia and post traumatic stress individually and as a global scale; and (2) a dichotomous diagnosis variable inclusive of all above disorders. Treatment was indicated by an outpatient visit to a psychiatrist or other professional. Treatment did not reduce mental disorder or symptoms. Substance use, violence, poverty, community disorganization, and family history of antisocial behavior increased risks for negative outcomes, while social support was protective. The absence of positive findings associated with outpatient treatment is troubling given the empirically supported interventions for the conditions examined. Practitioners, agencies, and managed care organizations share a responsibility to implement effective and comprehensive interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)484-496
Number of pages13
JournalAdministration and Policy in Mental Health and Mental Health Services Research
Volume37
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2010

Keywords

  • Mental health services
  • Outpatient treatment
  • Young adults

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Phychiatric Mental Health
  • Health Policy
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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