About this Research Topic
Mental disorders, including anxiety, mood, attention, and disruptive behavior disorders, are prevalent and have severe impact on adolescents’ health and well-being. Large-scale studies report that up to 21% of adolescents in the U.S. have ever had one or more mental disorders in their lifetime. Mental disorders can lead to many negative health and social consequences in late adolescence (e.g. self-injuries, violence, substance use, academic failure) and adulthood (e.g. lower income level, higher divorce rates, crime). Most seriously, mental disorders can lead to suicide, which is the second leading cause of death in youths ages 10 to 19 in the United States.
Although effective treatments exist for many mental disorders, unfortunately, over half of adolescents in the U.S. who need mental health treatment never receive it. Further, compared with Whites, growing evidence indicates that racial/ethnic minority adolescents are more vulnerable to mental disorders but less likely to use mental health services. Minority adolescents’ underutilization of mental health services is compounded by their tendency to withdraw prematurely from treatment. Adolescents will not fully benefit from mental health services if they terminate treatment prematurely.
This Research Topic aims to provide an interdisciplinary perspective to the topic of adolescent mental health and health care disparities, with a particular focus on racial/ethnic minorities in the United States. We welcome Original Studies, Review Articles, as well as Conceptual and Methodological Papers related, but not limited, to the following subtopics:
• Prevalence and patterns in adolescent mental disorders;
• Disparities in adolescent mental health service use;
• Determinants and outcomes of minority adolescent mental disorders;
• Prevention of mental disorders in minority adolescents;
• Mechanisms underlying minority adolescents’ underutilization of mental health services;
• Factors associated with minority adolescents’ dropout from mental health treatment;
• Culturally competent mental health treatments for minority adolescents;
• Interventions to address racial/ethnic disparities in adolescent mental health;
• Interventions to improve treatment engagement for minority adolescents;
• Theoretical models to clarify pathways to mental health services for minority adolescents;
• Development and validation of instruments related to mental health and health care in minority adolescents.
Keywords: adolescent, mental disorder, health care disparities, race, ethnicity
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