Community Mental Health Journal

, Volume 48, Issue 1, pp 71–78 | Cite as

Mental Health Screening of African American Adolescents and Facilitated Access to Care

  • Mathilde M. Husky
  • Deborah A. Kanter
  • Leslie McGuire
  • Mark Olfson
Original Paper


This study retrospectively reviews de-identified records from school-based mental health screening in a predominantly African American community. We compare participation rates, screening results, referrals to services and access to care of white and African American adolescents. Among those offered screening, 20.1% of white students (n = 297), and 28.8% of African American students (n = 499) were screened (χ2 = 32.47, df = 1, P < .001). African American students (45.1%) were significantly more likely than white students (33.0%), (AOR = 1.59; P = .003) to be identified as being at risk. In both racial groups, most youth accessed the school-based services (89.02%, 95% CI 82.25–95.79) and community services (86.57%, 95% CI 78.41–94.73) to which they were referred. The groups did not differ in the odds of accessing community-based services (AOR = .58; P = .49). African American students were, however, more likely than white students to access school-based services (AOR = 10.08; P = .022). The findings support the effectiveness of screening in school settings in predominantly African American communities.


Adolescence African American youth Mental health screening Race/ethnicity 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2011

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mathilde M. Husky
    • 1
    • 2
  • Deborah A. Kanter
    • 3
  • Leslie McGuire
    • 1
    • 2
  • Mark Olfson
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Child and Adolescent PsychiatryNew York State Psychiatric Institute, Columbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  2. 2.TeenScreen National Center for Mental Health CheckupsColumbia UniversityNew YorkUSA
  3. 3.Department of PsychologyFaculty of Health, York UniversityTorontoCanada

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