Journal article

A systematic review of the persistence of childhood mental health problems into adulthood

Melissa Mulraney, David Coghill, Caitlin Bishop, Yasemin Mehmed, Emma Sciberras, Michael Sawyer, Daryl Efron, Harriet Hiscock



Many adult mental disorders have their origins in childhood yet our knowledge about this largely comes from studies assessing adults utilising retrospective recall of age of onset. In this systematic review we evaluate the current state of knowledge of how childhood exposure to mental health problems is associated with adult mental disorders using data from prospective longitudinal studies. We identified 40 studies that assessed mental health in childhood or adolescence and reassessed adults for mental disorders. Although there was substantial heterogeneity across studies in terms of methodology and findings, there was a clear pattern that experiencing mental health problems prior to 14 year..

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Awarded by Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)

Awarded by NHMRC

Funding Acknowledgements

The writing of this paper was supported by a Project Grant (1129957) from the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) . H.H. is supported by an NHMRC Practitioner Fellowship (1136222) . E.S. is funded by an NHMRC Career Development Fellowship (1110688) and a veski Inspiring Women's Fellowship. This research was supported by the Victorian Government's Operational Infrastructure Support Program to the MCRI. The authors would like to thank Leanne Constable for her assistance in data extraction.