European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry

, Volume 12, Issue 4, pp 153–161

Help seeking for emotional and behavioural problems in children and adolescents

A review of recent literature

Authors

  • Marieke Zwaanswijk
    • Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research
  • Peter F. M. Verhaak
    • Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research
  • Jozien M. Bensing
    • Netherlands Institute for Health Services Research
  • Jan van der Ende
    • Erasmus MC/Sophia Children’s Hospital Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Rotterdam
  • Frank C. Verhulst
    • Erasmus MC/Sophia Children’s Hospital Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry Rotterdam
REVIEW

DOI: 10.1007/s00787-003-0322-6

Cite this article as:
Zwaanswijk, M., Verhaak, P.F.M., Bensing, J.M. et al. European Child & Adolescent Psychiatry (2003) 12: 153. doi:10.1007/s00787-003-0322-6

Abstract.

In order to understand the discrepancy between rates of child and adolescent psychopathology and rates of mental health service use, variables influencing the help-seeking process need to be investigated. The present article aims to extend and refine previous findings by reviewing 47 recent empirical studies on parental and adolescent problem recognition and help seeking, and problem recognition by the general practitioner (GP). Several variables (child age, the presence of medical and school-related problems, informal help seeking, past treatment of parents or relatives, family size, and type of maltreatment) were discovered to influence parental/adolescent problem recognition and/or help seeking,while refinements were found for the effects of type of psychopathology, child gender, adolescent attitudes and personality, parental psychopathology, social support, and sociodemographic variables. Although recent studies uncovered several determinants of problem recognition by the GP (child gender, age, past treatment, academic problems, family composition, life events, type of visit, and acquaintance with child), this aspect of the help-seeking pathway remains relatively uncharted and, therefore, needs to be the focus of future research.

Key words

help seekingchild and adolescent psychopathologyproblem recognitionmental health services

Copyright information

© Steinkopff Verlag 2003