Background. Various sources indicate that mental disorders are the leading contributor to the burden of disease among youth. An important determinant of functioning is current mental health status. This study investigated whether psychiatric history has additional predictive power when predicting individual differences in functional outcomes. Method. We used data from the Dutch TRAILS study in which 1778 youths were followed from pre-adolescence into young adulthood (retention 80%). Of those, 1584 youths were successfully interviewed, at age 19, using the World Health Organization Composite International Diagnostic Interview (CIDI 3.0) to assess current and past CIDI-DSM-IV mental disorders. Four outcome domains were assessed at the same time: economic (e.g. academic achievement, social benefits, financial difficulties), social (early motherhood, interpersonal conflicts, antisocial behavior), psychological (e.g. suicidality, subjective well-being, loneliness), and health behavior (e.g. smoking, problematic alcohol, cannabis use). Results. Out of the 19 outcomes, 14 were predicted by both current and past disorders, three only by past disorders (receiving social benefits, psychiatric hospitalization, adolescent motherhood), and two only by current disorder (absenteeism, obesity). Which type of disorders was most important depended on the outcome. Adjusted for current disorder, past internalizing disorders predicted in particular psychological outcomes while externalizing disorders predicted in particular health behavior outcomes. Economic and social outcomes were predicted by a history of co-morbidity of internalizing and externalizing disorder. The risk of problematic cannabis use and alcohol consumption dropped with a history of internalizing disorder. Conclusion. To understand current functioning, it is necessary to examine both current and past psychiatric status.
Objectives Little is known about how employment and work outcomes among young adults are influenced by their life-course history of mental health problems. Therefore, the aims of this study were to (i) identify trajectories of mental health problems from childhood to young adulthood and (ii) investigate the association between these trajectories and employment and work outcomes among young adults. Methods Data were used from 360 participants of the Tracking Adolescents' Individual Lives Survey (TRAILS), a Dutch prospective cohort study, with 12-year follow-up. Trajectories of externalizing and internalizing problems were identified with latent class growth models. Employment conditions and work outcomes (ie, psychosocial work characteristics) were measured at age 22. We assessed the association between mental health trajectories and employment conditions and work outcomes. Results Four trajectories of mental health problems were identified: high-stable, decreasing, moderate-stable and low-stable. Young adults with high-stable trajectories of externalizing problems worked over six hours more [B=6.71, 95% confidence interval (95% CI) 2.82-10.6] and had a higher income [odds ratio (OR) 0.33, 95% CI 0.15-0.71], than young adults with low-stable trajectories. Young adults with high-stable trajectories of internalizing problems worked six hours less per week (B=-6.07, 95% CI -10.1- -2.05) and reported lower income (OR 3.44, 95% CI 1.53-7.74) and poorer psychosocial work characteristics, compared to young adults with low-stable trajectories. Conclusions Among young adults who had a paid job at the age of 22 (and were not a student or unemployed), those with a history of internalizing problems are less likely to transition successfully into the labor market, compared to other young adults.