Childhood and adolescent onset psychiatric disorders, substance use, and failure to graduate high school on time

Joshua Breslau, Elizabeth Miller, W. J. Joanie Chung, Julie B Schweitzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

73 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

We examined the joint predictive effects of childhood and adolescent onset psychiatric and substance use disorders on failure to graduate high school (HS) on time. Structured diagnostic interviews were conducted with a US national sample of adults (18 and over). The analysis sample included respondents with at least 8 years of education who were born in the US or arrived in the US prior to age 13 (N = 29,662). Psychiatric disorders, substance use and substance use disorders were examined as predictors of termination or interruption of educational progress prior to HS graduation, with statistical adjustment for demographic characteristics and childhood adversities. Failure to graduate HS on time was more common among respondents with any of the psychiatric and substance use disorders examined, ranging from 18.1% (specific phobia) to 33.2% (ADHD-combined type), compared with respondents with no disorder (15.2%). After adjustment for co-occurring disorders, significant associations with failure to graduate on time remained only for conduct disorder (OR = 1.89, 95% CI 1.57-2.26) and the three ADHD subtypes (Inattentive OR = 1.78, 95% CI 1.44-2.20, Hyperactive-Impulsive OR = 1.38, 95% CI 1.14-1.67, and Combined OR = 2.06, 95% CI 1.66-2.56). Adjusting for prior disorders, tobacco use was associated with failure to graduate on time (OR = 1.97, 95% CI 1.80-2.16). Among substance users, substance use disorders were not associated with on-time graduation. The findings suggest that the adverse impact of childhood and adolescent onset psychiatric disorders on HS graduation is largely accounted for by problems of conduct and inattention. Adjusting for these disorders, smoking remains strongly associated with failure to graduate HS on time.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)295-301
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Psychiatric Research
Volume45
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 2011

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Adolescent Psychiatry
Substance-Related Disorders
Psychiatry
Conduct Disorder
Tobacco Use Disorder
Smoking
Demography
Interviews
Education
Surveys and Questionnaires

Keywords

  • Educational attainment
  • Epidemiology
  • Psychiatric disorders
  • Smoking
  • Substance use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Biological Psychiatry

Cite this

Childhood and adolescent onset psychiatric disorders, substance use, and failure to graduate high school on time. / Breslau, Joshua; Miller, Elizabeth; Joanie Chung, W. J.; Schweitzer, Julie B.

In: Journal of Psychiatric Research, Vol. 45, No. 3, 03.2011, p. 295-301.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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