We estimated the 6-month prevalence of psychiatric disorders among Dutch adolescents, using standardized, internationally available, and replicable assessment procedures, and assessed sex differences and comorbidity of diagnoses.
In phase 1, the parent, self-report, and teacher versions of the Child Behavior Checklist screened a sample representative of 13- to 18-year-olds from the Dutch general population. In phase 2, the parent (P) and child (C) versions of the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children (DISC) provided DSM-III-R diagnoses for a selected subsample of 780 subjects.
The prevalence of any disorder was 21.5% for the DISC-C and 21.8% for the DISC-P. There was little overlap between subjects identified as having a disorder by the DISC-P and the DISC-C; only 4% met the criteria for any disorder on both. The most common disorders were simple phobia, social phobia, and conduct disorder. The most frequent comorbid diagnoses were anxiety and mood disorders.
Although prevalences of more than 21% for DISC-C—and DISC-P—derived diagnoses seem high, many adolescents with DSM-III-R diagnoses functioned quite well. The prevalence of any DSMIII-R diagnosis based on the DISC-C or DISC-P, in combination with the criterion for a definite case, was 7.9%.