• Mohammad Muntasir Maruf Psychiatrist, National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • Farzana Rahman Assistant Professor, National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • Muhammad Zillur Rahman Khan Assistant Professor, National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • Nasim Jahan Psychiatrist, Department of Psychiatry, BIRDEM General Hospital, Dhaka, Bangladesh



Bangladesh, Juvenile Development Centre, Male Juvenile Offender, Substance Abuse


Juvenile offenders are generally vulnerable to psychiatric illness. The objectives of the study were to determine the types of psychiatric disorders among male juvenile offenders in Bangladesh and to find out their socio-demographic correlation and relation with substance abuse. This was a cross-sectional study conducted in Juvenile Development Center (Boys’), Bangladesh. All the male offenders of 9-18 years were included in the study during January - June 2011. Total respondents were 138. Validated Bangla version of the Development and Well-Being Assessment (DAWBA) was used to determine psychiatric disorders which were assigned based on ICD-10 diagnostic criteria. Information regarding socio-demography and substance abuse were collected through face-to-face interview using a semi-structured questionnaire and from the case-notes. Data analysis was done by SPSS for windows 15 version. The mean (±SD) age of the respondents was 14.2 (±1.7) years. Psychiatric disorders were diagnosed in 57.2% of the respondents. The rate of emotional disorders (48.1%) was higher than behavioral disorders (38.4%). Regarding specific disorders, conduct disorder (46.8%)and major depressive disorder (43.0%) were the most common diagnoses. Statistically significant association of psychiatric disorders was found with the urban background (57.6%), primary level of education (63.5%), and employment (75.5%). Among the respondents, 38.4% had a history of substance abuse. Among the substance abusers, 77.4% had psychiatric disorders. It can be concluded that there was the considerable rate of psychiatric disorders and substance abuse among male juvenile offenders in the development center. Broad-based replication study could confirm these findings. 


Atkins, D. L., Pumariega, A. J., Rogers, K., Montgomery, L., Nybro, C., Jeffers, G., et al. (1999). Mental health and incarcerated youth I: Prevalence and nature of psychopathology, Journal of Child and Family Studies, 8(2), 193–204.

Cohn, J. F., & Tronick, E. (1989) Specificity of infants’ response to mother’s affective behavior, Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 28(2), 242-248.

Crowe, H. (1998). Drug identification and testing in the juvenile justice system U.S. Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Washington DC

Dembo, R., Shemwell, M., Guida, J., Schmeidler, J., Baumgartner, W., Ramirez-Garnica, G., et al. (1999) Drug Testing Methods: Assessment and Evaluation T Mieczkowski (Ed.), Comparison of self-report, urine sample, and hair testing for drug use: A longitudinal study New York: CRC Press

Goodman, R., Ford, T., Simmons, H., Gatward, R., & Meltzer, H. (2000) Using the strength and difficulties questionnaire (SDQ) to screen for child psychiatric disorders in a community sample British Journal of Psychiatry, 177(6), 534-539

Haq, M. N. (1999). Psychiatric morbidity among juvenile offenders M Phil (Thesis), BSMMU Retrieved on Feb 1, 2011, from Library, Department of Psychiatry, and BSMMU. Not published.

Karnik, N. S., Soller, M., Redlich, A., Silverman, M., Kraemer, H. C., Haapanen, R., et al (2009) Prevalence of gender difference in psychiatric disorders among juvenile delinquents incarcerated for nine month Psychiatric Services, 60(6), 838-841.

Maru, H. M., Kathuku, D. M., & Ndetei, D. M. (2003) Psychiatric morbidity among children and young person appearing in the Nairobi Juvenile Court, Kenya East African Medical Journal, 80(6), 282-288.

McClelland, G. M., Elkington, K. S., Teplin, L. A. & Abram, K. M. (2004) Multiple substance use disorders in juvenile detainees. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry, 43(10), 1215-1224.

Mullica, M. S., & Goodman, R. (2005) the prevalence of psychiatric disorder among 5-10 years old in rural, urban and slums areas of Bangladesh: An exploratory study. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology, 40(8), 663-671.

Mullick, M. S., Khanam, M., & Islam, H. (1995) Psychiatric morbidity of outpatient children in Institute of Mental Health and Research Bangladesh Journal of Psychiatry, 7(1), 4-8

Rabbani, M. G., Alam, M. F., Ahmed, H. U., Sarkar, M., Islam, M. S., Anwar, N., et al. (2009) Prevalence of mental disorders, mental retardation, epilepsy and substance use in children Bangladesh Journal of Psychiatry, 23(1), 11-52.

Regier, D. A., Farmer, M. E., Rae, D. S., Locke, B. Z., Keith, S. J., Judd, L. L., et al. Co-morbidity of mental disorders with alcohol and other drug abuse: results from the Epidemiologic Catchment Area (ECA) study. (1990). Journal of the American Medical Association, 264(19), 2511-2518.

Rutter, M., Tizard, J., Yule, W., Graham, P., & Whitmore, K. (1976). Isle of Wight Studies, 1964-1974. Psychological Medicine, 6(2), 313-332.

Steiner, H., & Redlich, A. (2002) Child and Adolescent Psychiatry: A Comprehensive Textbook. M. Lewis (Ed.), Child psychiatry and juvenile justice (pp. 1417-1425). New York: Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins.

Teplin, L. A., Abram, K. M., McClelland, G. M., Dulcan, M. K., & Mericle, A. A. (2002) Psychiatric disorders in youth in juvenile detention Archives of General Psychiatry, 59(12), 1133–1143.

World UNICEF report 2003. Retrieved from UNICEFAnnualReport2003.pdf

World YOUTH Report Juvenile Delinquency 2003. Retrieved from unyin/ch07.pdf

Zhang, Z. (2004). Drug and alcohol use and related matters among arrestees, 2003, U.S. Department of Justice, National Institute of Justice, Washington DC




How to Cite

Maruf, M. M., Rahman, F., Khan, M. Z. R., & Jahan, N. (2015). PSYCHIATRIC MORBIDITY AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE AMONG MALE JUVENILE OFFENDERS IN BANGLADESH. LIFE: International Journal of Health and Life-Sciences, 1(01), 161–171.