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A comparative study of factors correlated with adolescent and adult psychiatric hospitalization

Elana Rae Osborne, University of Massachusetts Amherst


The purpose of this study was to identify factors which statistically predict adolescent psychiatric hospitalization and to compare these factors with those associated with hospitalization in adults. A review of the literature revealed that several factors have been found to be correlated with inpatient treatment among adults, but that little research evidence exists for hospitalized adolescents.^ One-hundred-twenty-six research subjects were drawn from the total population of clients receiving acute psychiatric services at a regional mental health crisis center during fiscal year 1986. A total of 42 adolescents had been evaluated and subsequently hospitalized during that year. Same-size comparison groups were randomly drawn from the total pools of both psychiatrically evaluated but non-hospitalized adolescents and hospitalized adults (ages 32-42). Males and females tended to be equally distributed in all 3 groups.^ Thirteen demographic and clinical variables were selected for systematic study of their predictive value in the decision to hospitalize. In order to not only predict hospitalization but also to assign relative importance to significant variables, multiple regression analyses were performed on data.^ Results indicated that one can predict whether or not an adolescent who is evaluated will be hospitalized on the basis of the following rank-order variables: prior hospitalization, insurance availability, prior therapy and type of diagnosis. Furthermore, these regressors taken together, account for 53.89 percent of the variance in the dependent variable. Hospitalized adolescents were more likely to have diagnosis of organicity, schizophrenia, depression or bipolar illness. Presenting problem, premorbid function and social service agency involvement also statistically distinguished between adolescent groups.^ Using multiple regression analysis, only two variables distinguished between hospitalized adolescents and hospitalized adults. Fifty-one percent of the variance was explained by the following rank-ordered factors: social service agency involvement and substance involvement, with the adolescents more likely to be substance and DSS or court involved than the adults.^ Results of this study have largely supported and built upon research previously conducted. Furthermore, the current findings have implications for practice and future research. ^

Subject Area

Clinical psychology

Recommended Citation

Osborne, Elana Rae, "A comparative study of factors correlated with adolescent and adult psychiatric hospitalization" (1988). Doctoral Dissertations Available from Proquest. AAI8822677.