Ethnic and Gender Disparities in Needed Adolescent Mental Health Care
- Journal of Health Care for the Poor and Underserved
- Johns Hopkins University Press
- Volume 22, Number 1, February 2011
- pp. 101-110
- Additional Information
- Purchase/rental options available:
Psychological problems are overlooked and undertreated in adolescents, especially in low-income and ethnically-diverse youth. School-based health centers are one way to increase health care utilization, and may be particularly important for accessing hard-to-reach populations. The present study examines adolescents' psychological health and their experiences with receiving needed mental health care. Participants included 1,695 African-American (31%), Hispanic (38%), and White (31%) high-school students in southeast Texas. All students were from the same high school and all had access to a school-based mental health clinic. Twenty six percent of the sample had symptoms indicative of major depression, and 18% had scores consistent with subthreshold depression. Across all ethnicities, the prevalence of depressive symptoms was highest among females. Depressed White students were more likely than depressed minority youth to report having received a prior diagnosis of depression and to have been treated for depression. Thus, ethnic disparities in obtaining needed mental health care may persist even in settings where access to equivalent care is readily available.