Original Research

Psychiatric morbidity amongst adolescents in a Nigerian juvenile correctional facility

Amudalat T. Kuranga, Abdullahi D. Yussuf
South African Journal of Psychiatry | Vol 27 | a1590 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajpsychiatry.v27i0.1590 | © 2021 Amudalat T. Kuranga, Abdullahi D. Yussuf | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 15 July 2020 | Published: 16 August 2021

About the author(s)

Amudalat T. Kuranga, Department of Behavioural Science, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Kwara State, Nigeria
Abdullahi D. Yussuf, Department of Behavioural Science, University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital, Kwara State, Nigeria


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Abstract

Background: The high occurrence of psychiatric disorders amongst adolescents within the Juvenile Justice System (JJS) has been confirmed. Most of the available data are from developed countries and some of them focus on just a single psychiatric disorder which may not be representative of the situation in low-income countries, hence the need for more studies in developing countries, including Nigeria.

Aim: The study aimed to determine the prevalence of psychiatric disorders amongst adolescent residents of a correctional facility.

Setting: The study was carried out at a Borstal Institution in North-Central Nigeria.

Methods: A descriptive cross-sectional study design was used. One hundred and twenty adolescents were assessed using the socio-demographic pro forma questionnaire designed by the researcher and the Kiddies Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia (KSADS-PL). Data were analysed using EPI-INFO 4.06 d version 6.04 software.

Results: A total of 62.5% of the male respondents were older than 15 years. The percentage of respondents with a psychiatric disorder was 82.5%. The rate of psychiatric disorders was high with disruptive behaviour disorders being the most common at 40.8%, others were substance use disorders (15.8%), anxiety disorders (14.2%), psychosis (6.7%) and mood disorders (5%).

Conclusion: This study has established a high prevalence rate of psychiatric disorders amongst incarcerated adolescents. This is in line with the findings of numerous studies worldwide. This study has identified the need to increase awareness and knowledge about the high morbidity of mental disorders in growing juvenile detainee populations. This will allow early identification of adolescents at risk of psychiatric disorders and ensure efficient resource distribution of both JJS service and mental healthcare. Effective and appropriate interventions have shown to improve overall health, quality of life and reduce the rate of recidivism amongst incarcerated juveniles.


Keywords

psychiatric morbidity; juveniles; juvenile justice system; adolescents; Borstal Institution, Nigeria

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