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A Life Course Approach to Mental Disorders$
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Karestan C. Koenen, Sasha Rudenstine, Ezra Susser, and Sandro Galea

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199657018

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199657018.001.0001

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Age, birth cohort, and period effects in psychiatric disorders in the USA

Age, birth cohort, and period effects in psychiatric disorders in the USA

(p.46) Chapter 5 Age, birth cohort, and period effects in psychiatric disorders in the USA
A Life Course Approach to Mental Disorders

Katherine Keyes

Charley Liu

Oxford University Press

Assessment of age, period, and cohort effects in the temporal variation of psychiatric disorders is important for understanding changes in the nature and magnitude of the effect of aetiologically important exposures, and the identification of particular cohorts with higher than expected rates of psychiatric disorders is vital for public health planning and intervention efforts. This chapter reviews evidence for age, period, and cohort effects in major depression, substance use disorders, and autism spectrum disorders in the USA—three disorders with sufficient evidence bases for robust inference across studies. Existing research supports a role for cohort effects in the incidence and prevalence of alcohol use disorders as well as cigarette and marijuana use, and autism diagnoses. Whereas cohort effects in major depression have been documented, the existence of cohort effects remains controversial due to data suggesting that a retrospective reporting bias may explain a large part of these results.

Keywords:   age–period–cohort effects, birth cohort effects, depression, substance use disorders, autism spectrum disorders

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