Prevalence of Mental Health Disorders among Incoming Federal Men Offenders in Three Regions: Analysis by Age Group
What it means
Prevalence rates of current anxiety disorders, personality disorders, and substance abuse disorders are lower among men who are 55 years or older than among younger offenders. There is also evidence of a slight decline in rates of mood disorders in these older offenders. The finding that symptoms of some mental health disorders, notably personality disorders, decline with age has been reported in previous studies tracing the trajectories of individuals with mental disorders. Given the aging offender population, information on age-related variations in the diagnosis of mental disorder can be considered in planning mental health services.
What we found
Overall, there is a decline in the prevalence of most mental disorders with age. The highest prevalence rates across all ages were for substance abuse disorders and antisocial personality disorder. The apparent increase in psychotic disorders should be interpreted with caution given low numbers.
Why we did this study
The Correctional Service of Canada (CSC) requires information on the prevalence of major mental health disorders by age group among newly-admitted offenders to assist in planning for services for aging offenders. Previous research has reported on rates of mental disorders among incoming male offenders in the CSC in three regions.
What we did
Participants were 588 male offenders who completed a Structured Clinical Interview for DSM-IV-TR Axis I and Axis II disorders upon admission to CSC. Admissions on new warrants of committal were approached to participate from April to December 2012 in the Atlantic, Ontario, and Pacific Reception Centres. Prevalence rates were analyzed across age groups to examine age-related differences.
|Alcohol or substance abuse||50.5||52.5||52.0||44.9||30.0|
|Borderline personality disorder||16.5||18.0||17.6||15.3||8.0|
|Antisocial personality disorder||48.6||54.1||50.7||42.9||26.0|
For more information
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Prepared by: Barbara Wendt, Janelle Beaudette, and Lynn Stewart
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