Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 32, Issue 4, pp 327–340

Children of farm laborers: Utilization of services for mental health problems

  • Sandra L. Martin
  • Janis B. Kupersmidt
  • Kristina S. M. Harter
Articles

Abstract

Utilization of various types of services for children's mental health problems was examined among 112 agricultural farm worker families. Pairs of mothers and children (aged 8 to 11) were interviewed using the Diagnostic Interview Schedule for Children and the Child and Adolescent Services Assessment. Sixty-four percent of the children met criterion for one or more psychiatric diagnoses. Children with a psychiatric diagnosis were five times more likely to see a health professional for a mental health problem compared to children without a psychiatric diagnosis. However, less than half of the children with a psychiatric diagnosis saw a health professional for their mental health problems. Families also consulted with school professionals, religious leaders, and non-professionals (such as friends) concerning their children's mental health, but families of children who had a psychiatric diagnosis were not significantly more likely to report these types of consultations than were families of children who did not have a psychiatric diagnosis. These findings are discussed in terms of recommendations for improving the mental health service delivery system for rural children.

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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • Sandra L. Martin
    • 2
  • Janis B. Kupersmidt
    • 1
  • Kristina S. M. Harter
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of North CarolinaChapel Hill
  2. 2.Department of Maternal and Child Health, CB # 7400, School of Public HealthUniversity of North CarolinaChapel Hill

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