Title

Youth Mental Health Service Preferences and Utilization Patterns Among Latinx Caregivers

Document Type

Article

Journal/Book Title/Conference

Children and Youth Services Review

Volume

131

Issue

C

Publisher

Elsevier Ltd

Publication Date

12-1-2021

First Page

1

Last Page

11

Abstract

Latinx caregivers underutilize traditional youth mental health services (MHS) relative to their White counterparts. Disparities may be explained by barriers preventing engagement in traditional MHS. A potential mismatch between available services and preferred culturally appropriate healing practices may also contribute to treatment disparities. The current study examined Latinx caregivers’ perceived need for and utilization of support services in relation to family characteristics, youth problem-type, and barriers to care. Findings were contextualized by assessing caregiver preferences for addressing youth psychopathology. The study consisted of 598 Latinx caregivers from across the United States. Descriptive statistics and binary logistic regression models were used to conduct exploratory analyses. The most frequently used sources of support for youths were medical doctors, school professionals, family or friends, psychological counseling or therapy, and parenting classes. Caregiver perceived need for and utilization of services was generally greater among youths with clinically elevated nternalizing or externalizing problems. While Latinx caregivers report needing and utilizing a variety of services to address youth psychopathology, they requently ranked psychological counseling as their most preferred format. Problem-specific service need and utilization was found for medical (i.e., clinical internalizing problems) and religious services (i.e., minister or faith healer; clinical externalizing problems). Youth and family characteristics and barriers to care were differentially associated with service need and utilization across formats.Our findings suggest a need to increase access to youth psychological counseling services among Latinxs and highlight additional avenues for integrating MHS into formats that caregivers frequently report needing and utilizing.

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