College of Psychology: Faculty Articles

Title

Heterogeneity in Youth Symptom Trajectories Following Psychiatric Crisis: Predictors and Placement Outcomes

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

12-2004

Keywords

Adolescent, Follow-Up Studies, Hospitalization, Mental Disorders, Prospective Studies

Publication Title

Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology

ISSN

0022-006X

Volume

72

Issue/No.

6

Abstract

The authors examined heterogeneity in symptom trajectories among youths following psychiatric crises as well as the psychosocial correlates and placement outcomes associated with identified trajectories. Using semiparametric mixture modeling with 156 youths approved for psychiatric hospitalization, the authors identified 5 trajectories based on symptoms over the 16 months following crisis: high improved, high unimproved, borderline improved, borderline unimproved, and subclinical. Membership in unimproved symptom groups was associated with less suicidality, younger age, more youth hopelessness, and more caregiver empowerment. Improved symptom group membership predicted long-term decreases in days in out-of-home placements. More important, and in contrast with general impressions from the existing literature, findings suggest that a substantive proportion of youths with serious emotional disturbance sustain high levels of symptomatology following intensive mental health services.

DOI

10.1037/0022-006X.72.6.993