Purpose: This study explored parent views on school involvement in screening and identification of adolescent depression. Methods: This was a cross-sectional Internet-based survey with the C.S. Mott Children's Hospital National Poll on Children's Health. Of 2,004 parents (63.4% response rate), 770 had a middle/high school student and were eligible for this module. Poststratification weights were generated by survey vendor Ipsos. Descriptive and bivariate results were calculated; multinomial logistic regression models controlled for parent sex, race/ethnicity, education, employment status, and school level. Results: Parent respondents were 54.8% female, 57.5% white, 64.3% above a high school education, and 79.7% employed; 76.2% were answering based on a high school student. Most parents supported school-based depression screens starting in sixth (46.7%) or seventh (15.1%) grades, although 15.9% responded no screening should be done. Among parent respondents, 93.2% wished to be informed of a positive screen. Regression analysis found parents of middle school students were 4.18 times more likely to prefer sixth versus 9th to 12th grade to start screening. Conclusions: Most parents support middle school depression screening but overwhelmingly wished to be informed of a positive result. Guidelines for maintaining adolescent confidentiality in a school-based depression screening program will require careful consideration.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)403-406
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Adolescent Health
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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