Children’s Mental Health Care: Differences by Race/Ethnicity in Urban/Rural Areas
Abstract

This study examines racial/ethnic disparities in children’s mental health and the receipt of mental health services, and whether those disparities differ between urban and rural areas. We find no significant difference between racial/ethnic groups in the prevalence of child mental health problems in either urban or rural areas. However, there are disparities in the use of mental health services. Hispanic children and Black children in urban areas receive less mental health care than their White counterparts, and the disparity persists for Hispanic children in rural areas, even after controlling for other relevant factors. Initiatives to improve access to mental health care for racial/ethnic minorities should recognize these disparities, and address the lack of culturally appropriate services in both urban and rural areas. In addition, outreach should raise awareness among parents, teachers, and other community members concerning the need for mental health services for minority children.


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