Understanding urban child mental health service use: Two studies of child, family, and environmental correlates

  • Mary M. McKay
  • James Pennington
  • Cynthia J. Lynn
  • Kathleen McCadam
Brief Reports


The results of two studies identifying child, family, and environmental correlates of initial and ongoing mental health service use by urban minority children and their families are presented. In the first study, data from a sample of 405 adult caregivers of children revealed no predictive power of child demographic characteristics in relation to initial or ongoing service usage. Only parental ratings of child impulsive-hyperactive behavior were significantly related to ongoing involvement in services. In the second study, a new sample of 100 urban caregivers of children was interviewed. Parental discipline efficacy and attitudes about mental health services were found to relate significantly to initial attendance. Relative to ongoing service use, level of family stress, presence of another adult in the home, and parental discipline efficacy were significant. Implications for research and child mental health service organizations are highlighted.


Mental Health Service Service Usage Parental Rating Family Stress Environmental Correlate 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Association of Behavioral Healthcare Management, NCCBH 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mary M. McKay
    • 1
  • James Pennington
    • 2
  • Cynthia J. Lynn
    • 1
  • Kathleen McCadam
    • 2
  1. 1.Columbia University School of Social WorkNew York
  2. 2.Institute for Juvenile ReasearchUniversity of Illinois at ChicagoUSA

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