Health needs of Australian Indigenous young people entering detention

Doolan, Ivan, Najman, Jackob M. and Cherney, Adrian (2012) Health needs of Australian Indigenous young people entering detention. Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health, 48 10: 896-901. doi:10.1111/j.1440-1754.2012.02526.x

Author Doolan, Ivan
Najman, Jackob M.
Cherney, Adrian
Title Health needs of Australian Indigenous young people entering detention
Journal name Journal of Paediatrics and Child Health   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1034-4810
Publication date 2012-10
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.1440-1754.2012.02526.x
Volume 48
Issue 10
Start page 896
End page 901
Total pages 6
Place of publication West Sussex, United Kingdom
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell
Collection year 2013
Language eng
Formatted abstract
To determine whether there are different health needs associated with differences between Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth in detention in Brisbane, Queensland, Australia.

All records of young people (aged 10 to 21 years) taken into detention in Brisbane Queensland over the period 1 July 2001 to 30 June 2009 were reviewed, and data were extracted documenting the mental health and related behaviours of those referred to the Mental Health, Alcohol, Tobacco and Other Drugs Service. International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems – Tenth Revision (ICD-10) criteria were applied to a clinical interview. ICD-10 diagnostic outcomes and reason for referral are presented by Indigenous status and age.


Young male (under 14 years of age) Indigenous respondents are substantially over-represented in youth in detention. Indigenous youth in detention are disproportionately referred and diagnosed with a substance use problem. Referral and diagnosis of substance use problems was not as commonly found for non-Indigenous youth.

Young Indigenous persons are substantially over-represented in those taken into detention in Queensland. This study shows significant differences in relation to mental health and substance use assessment outcomes for Indigenous and non-Indigenous young people in youth detention in Queensland. Further research focusing on service delivery for Indigenous young people should focus on their specific needs.
Keyword Adolescent
Indigenous population
Mental health
Substance use
Youth detention
Youth justice system
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ
Additional Notes First published online: 7 September 2012.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2013 Collection
School of Public Health Publications
School of Social Science Publications
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Citation counts: TR Web of Science Citation Count  Cited 2 times in Thomson Reuters Web of Science Article | Citations
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Created: Thu, 16 Feb 2012, 11:30:17 EST by Dr Adrian Cherney on behalf of School of Social Science