Title

Latinx Caregivers’ Perceived Need for and Utilization of Youth Telepsychology Services During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Journal of Latinx Psychology

Volume

9

Issue

4

Publisher

American Psychological Association

Publication Date

11-1-2021

First Page

284

Last Page

298

Abstract

Telepsychology has the potential to provide a safe method of addressing mental health problems among Latinx youth during the coronavirus pandemic. However, the extent to which Latinx caregivers are accessing telepsychology services for their child and whether this format is perceived to be an appropriate method of addressing youth psychopathology is unknown. The present study examined indicators of youth psychopathology and external stressors in relation to Latinx caregivers’ perceived need for and utilization of youth telepsychology during the coronavirus pandemic. The sample consisted of 598 Latinx caregivers of school-age youths (MAge = 11.9, SD = 3.4) from across the United States recruited through an online survey panel. Caregivers reported on a wide array of factors associated with their ability to access mental health services and their perceived need for and utilization of youth telepsychology in the last year. Our findings suggest that telepsychology is a less preferred but acceptable intervention format. Despite this, significant unmet need for telepsychology services was found among Latinx youths with clinically elevated problems. Latinx caregivers were especially likely to perceive a need for and utilize telepsychology in response to parenting stress and youth internalizing problems. Clinical externalizing problems were not significantly associated with telepsychology need or utilization after controlling for other variables. Disparities in accessing telepsychology raise concerns regarding the long-term psychological impact of unmet mental health service need among Latinx youths. Efforts are needed to identify and eliminate barriers to accessing youth telepsychology services among Latinxs.

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