Posted by on June 24, 2014 - 12:31pm

Delinquency in youth predicts a significantly higher rate of violent death in adulthood -- especially from firearms -- and females are among the most vulnerable, reports a new Northwestern Medicine® study.

Delinquent females died violently at nearly five times the rate of those in the general population, according to the study, while delinquent males died at three times general population rates.

Death rates in Hispanic males and females were five and nine times more than the general population rates, respectively.

This is the first large-scale study to look at death rates in delinquent females and adds new data on Hispanics, now the largest minority group in the U.S. The paper will be published June 16 in the journal Pediatrics.

In addition, violent death up to age 34 was predicted by three risk factors in adolescence: alcohol use disorder, selling drugs and gang involvement, according to the study.

"Our findings are shocking," said lead author Linda Teplin, the Owen L. Coon Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. "Death rates in our sample of delinquent youth, ages 15 to 19, are nearly twice those of troops in combat in wartime Iraq and Afghanistan."

Source:  Northwestern, Science Daily 6/16/2014.


Posted by on July 27, 2012 - 6:46am

The onset of puberty is associated with an increase in depression among adolescents, particularly among adolescent girls. According to the 2008 to 2010 National Surveys on Drug Use and Health, an annual average of 1.4 million girls aged 12 to 17 (12.0 percent) experienced a major depressive episode (MDE) in the past year—a rate nearly 3 times that of their male peers (4.5 percent). The percentage of girls who experienced MDE tripled between the ages of 12 and 15 (from 5.1 to 15.2 percent). About one third of girls aged 12 to 14 with MDE received treatment for depression in the past year compared with about two fifths of those aged 15 to 17.

Given the young age at which MDE begins to increase among girls, prevention and intervention efforts targeting adolescents in middle school may help ameliorate depression onset, as well as reduce depression recurrence through the life course. For more information about ways that health professionals can address the mental health needs of adolescent girls and women, please visit

Source: National Survey on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH), July 19, 2012.