Mental health problems of adolescents as reported by their caregivers: A comparison of European, African, and Latino Americans

ArticleinThe Journal of Behavioral Health Services & Research 32(1):1-13 · January 2005with6 Reads
Impact Factor: 1.37 · DOI: 10.1097/00075484-200501000-00001 · Source: PubMed


    This article examines problem recognition across ethnic groups by focusing on parental reports of mental health problems in adolescents. Data were collected from 1 youth (aged 11-17) and 1 caregiver from a community-based sample of households in the Houston metropolitan area. The sample was 4175 youths and their caregivers (37.8% European, 35.00% African, 25.4% Latino, and 1.8% other American). Indicators of mental health were perceived mental health, life dissatisfaction, and whether adolescents had a mental health problem in the past year. European Americans were more likely to rate the mental health of adolescents as fair or poor, were about twice as likely to report that adolescents were dissatisfied with their lives, and that adolescents had a mental health problem in the past year. Interventions to help minority families in the identification of youth's mental health problems may need to address cultural differences in the definition of mental health problems or in the benefit of labeling mental health problems that may serve as barriers to help-seeking.