He noted that in contrast to physical illness, mental illness exacts a heavy toll beginning in adolescence. "The typical person with arthritis has an age of onset of 55, whereas the typical person with a mental disorder has an age of onset of 12. What it means is that mental disorders have the ability to make a fundamental impact on the trajectory of your life by adversely affecting the basic building blocks, such as educational attainment, moving into adulthood, marriage, entering an occupation and maintaining a stable career," he said.
For the study, researchers have interviewed 10,000 adolescents (ages 13 to 17) and 10,000 of their parents.
"We have a household subsample and a school subsample, and we have to do some complicated blending of the samples at the same time as blending the reports of the parents and children," Kessler said. "I am hoping that in the next six months, we will have all the data in perfect shape, so we will be able to publish core papers for adolescents as we just did for the adults, and then move forward from there."
Insel TM, Fenton WS (2005), Psychiatric epidemiology: it's not just about counting anymore. Arch Gen Psychiatry 62(6):590-592 [comment].
Kessler RC, Berglund P, Demler O et al. (2005a), Lifetime prevalence and age-of-onset distributions of DSM-IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. [Published erratum Arch Gen Psychiatry 62(7):768.] Arch Gen Psychiatry 62(6):593-602 [see comment].
Kessler RC, Chiu WT, Demler O et al. (2005b), Prevalence, severity, and comorbidity of 12-month DSM-IV disorders in the National Comorbidity Survey Replication. [Published erratum Arch Gen Psychiatry 62(7):709.] Arch Gen Psychiatry 62(6):617-627 [see comment].
Kessler RC, McGonagle KA, Zhao S et al. (1994), Lifetime and 12-month prevalence of DSM-III-R psychiatric disorders in the United States. Results from the National Comorbidity Survey. Arch Gen Psychiatry 51(1):8-19.