The mental health of young people who are not in education, employment, or training: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

TitleThe mental health of young people who are not in education, employment, or training: a systematic review and meta-analysis.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2021
AuthorsGariépy G, Danna SM, Hawke L, Henderson J, Iyer SN
JournalSoc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol
Date Published2021 Dec 21

PURPOSE: There are increasing concerns about the intersection between NEET (not in education, employment, or training) status and youth mental ill-health and substance use. However, findings are inconsistent and differ across types of problems. This is the first systematic review and meta-analysis (PROSPERO-CRD42018087446) on the association between NEET status and youth mental health and substance use problems.METHODS: We searched Medline, EMBASE, Web of Science, ERIC, PsycINFO, and ProQuest Dissertations and Theses (1999-2020). Two reviewers extracted data and appraised study quality using a modified Newcastle-Ottawa Scale. We ran robust variance estimation random-effects models for associations between NEET and aggregate groups of mental ill-health and substance use measures; conventional random-effects models for associations with individual mental/substance use problems; and subgroup analyses to explore heterogeneity.RESULTS: We identified 24 studies from 6,120 references. NEET status was associated with aggregate groups of mental ill-health (OR 1.28, CI 1.06-1.54), substance use problems (OR 1.43, CI 1.08-1.89), and combined mental ill-health and substance use measures (OR 1.38, CI 1.15-1.64). Each disaggregated measure was associated with NEET status [mood (OR 1.43, CI 1.21-1.70), anxiety (OR 1.55, CI 1.07-2.24), behaviour problems (OR 1.49, CI 1.21-1.85), alcohol use (OR 1.28, CI 1.24-1.46), cannabis use (OR 1.62, CI 1.07-2.46), drug use (OR 1.99, CI 1.19-3.31), suicidality (OR 2.84, CI 2.04-3.95); and psychological distress (OR 1.10, CI 1.01-1.21)]. Longitudinal data indicated that aggregate measures of mental health problems and of mental health and substance use problems (combined) predicted being NEET later, while evidence for the inverse relationship was equivocal and sparse.CONCLUSION: Our review provides evidence for meaningful, significant associations between youth mental health and substance use problems and being NEET. We, therefore, advocate for mental ill-health prevention and early intervention and integrating vocational supports in youth mental healthcare.

Alternate JournalSoc Psychiatry Psychiatr Epidemiol
PubMed ID34931257
PubMed Central IDPMC8687877