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Factors associated with adolescent mental health service need and utilization

By Marieke Zwaanswijk, J. van der Ende, P.F.M. Verhaak, J. Bensing and F.C. Verhulst


Objective: To determine the association of parent, family, and adolescent variables with adolescent mental health service\ud need and utilization. Method: Correlates of adolescent mental health service utilization, self-perceived need and unmet\ud need were investigated in a general population sample of 1,120 Dutch adolescents aged 11 to 18 years (78% response rate). Results: 3.1% of the sample had been referred for mental health services within the preceding year, and 3.8% reported\ud unmet need. 7.7% of adolescents at risk for psychopathology, and 17.8% of those indicating a need for help, had been\ud referred. Family stress and adolescent’s self-reported problems were most strongly associated with service need and utilization.\ud Internalizing problems, female gender, and low education level were associated with self-perceived unmet need. Adolescent ethnicity and competence in activities and school were associated with service use, but did not influence service need, while the opposite effect was found for adolescent age and parental psychopathology. Conclusion: In designing intervention programs aimed at increasing adolescent mental health service use, distinctions should be made between\ud efforts focused at adolescents not recognizing their problems, and those with unmet need

Topics: Sociale Wetenschappen, epidemiology, mental health services, adolescents, Youth Self-Report
Year: 2003
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