Refereed journal article or data article (A1)

Psychiatric disorders diagnosed in adolescence and subsequent long-term exclusion from education, employment or training: longitudinal national birth cohort study

List of Authors: Ringbom Ida, Suvisaari Jaana, Kääriälä Antti, Sourander Andre, Gissler Mika, Ristikari Tiina, Gyllenberg David

Publisher: Cambridge Univ Press

Publication year: 2021

Journal: British Journal of Psychiatry

Volume number: 220

Issue number: 3

eISSN: 1472-1465



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Long-term ‘not in education, employment or training’ (NEET) status is an important indicator of youth marginalisation.


To carry out a comprehensive overview of the associations between different psychiatric illnesses and long-term NEET status.


We used the register-based 1987 Finnish Birth Cohort study, which includes all live births in Finland during that year. The analyses comprised 55 273 individuals after exclusions for intellectual disability, death or emigration. We predicted that psychiatric disorders, diagnosed by specialist services between 1998 and 2007 when the cohort were 10–20 years of age, would be associated with subsequent long-term NEET (defined as NEET for at least 5 years between 2008 and 2015, when they were 20–28 years of age).


In total, 1438 individuals (2.6%) were long-term NEET during follow-up and the associations between long-term NEET and the 11 diagnostic categories we studied were statistically significant (P < 0.001). In multivariate models we included sociodemographic characteristics and upper secondary education as covariates, and the highest effect sizes, measured by odds ratios (OR) with 95% confidence intervals (CI), were found for psychosis (OR = 12.0, 95% CI 9.5–15.2) and autism spectrum disorder (OR = 17.3, 95% CI 11.5–26.0). If individuals had not successfully completed this education, 70.6% of those with autism spectrum disorder and 48.4% of those with psychosis were later long-term NEET.


Adolescents who receive treatment for psychiatric disorders, particularly autism spectrum disorder or psychosis, need support to access education and employment. This could help to prevent marginalisation in early adulthood.

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Last updated on 2023-13-01 at 12:37