Parental Perceptions of the Importance of Adolescent Mental Health Information

Lovie Jewell Jackson Foster, Minjae Lee, Penelope Kay Morrison, Esa M. Davis, Elizabeth Miller, Aletha Y. Akers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Improving health care providers' ability to address adolescent mental health is a major public health priority. Because parents are a critical gateway to children's health care, this study investigated factors related to parents' perceived need for mental health information to help their adolescent child. In this cross-sectional survey of parents accompanying adolescents in two urban pediatric health care practices, parents ranked adolescent preventive health topics they believed were most important to receive information about to ensure the health of their adolescent. Multivariable logistic regression determined correlates of parental perceptions. Among the 265 parent participants, 60 percent identified at least one mental health topic as important. These parents were more likely to be white, to recall a health care provider discussing adolescent mental health, and to be accompanying an adolescent for an acute care or referral visit. Parents were less likely to see a need for mental health information if the study clinic was their child's usual source of care. Findings suggest that many parents are receptive to receiving mental health information in pediatric primary care settings. Future research is needed to understand racial differences in parental receptivity to mental health information in pediatric primary care settings and ways to effectively deliver preventive mental health information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)e117-e125
JournalHealth and Social Work
Issue number3
StatePublished - Aug 1 2015

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Medicine


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