Skip to main content
Log in

Mental Health Help-Seeking Patterns Among Early Adolescents Across Indicators of Adversity

  • Original Paper
  • Published:
School Mental Health Aims and scope Submit manuscript

Abstract

To help guide school mental health policy and practice, we evaluated patterns of mental health help-seeking across lifetime adversity among sixth-grade adolescents. An ethnically/socioeconomically diverse sample of sixth-graders (N = 751) self-completed assessments of help-seeking and indicators of lifetime adversities: violence victimization, poverty, parent loss/divorce, mental illness/substance abuse at home, and stressors related to social identity. Logistic regression models adjusting for family/personal factors examined adversity factors on help-seeking outcomes overall and across subgroups with mental health perceived problems and high-symptoms. Overall, odds increased between perceived problem and formal service use, poverty and formal service/school counselor use, and high-symptoms/victimization and talking to a friend (p < 0.05). Among those with perceived problems, odds increased between mental illness/substance abuse at home and formal service use, victimization and talking to a friend, and poverty and school counselor use (p < 0.05). Among those with no mental health problems, odds increased between victimization and formal service/school counselor use, and poverty and formal service use (p < 0.05). No significant patterns were observed in the high-symptom subgroup. Understanding how adversity shapes help-seeking can help guide school mental health policies and practices. Study findings point to areas for expansion of supports for students with adversity to create a mental health safety net and help mitigate future risk.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in via an institution to check access.

Access this article

Price excludes VAT (USA)
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.

Instant access to the full article PDF.

Similar content being viewed by others

Availability of Data and Material

This study is registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, titled “A School-Based Intervention to Reduce Stigma & Promote Mental-Health Service Use” (NCT03597048; http://clinicaltrials.gov).

References

Download references

Funding

This work was supported by the National Institute of Mental Health #R01MH095254.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations

Authors

Contributions

MD-R, PhD, MPH provided substantial contribution to the manuscript including conceptualization/design, methodology, investigation, supervision/oversight, data curation, formal analysis, resources, writing—drafting the initial manuscript and review/editing of the manuscript. JD, MPH, supported the investigation, formal analysis, and writing—drafting the initial manuscript and review/editing of the manuscript. AV, PhD, JP, PhD, and BL, PhD, all provided substantial contribution to the manuscript including conceptualization/design, methodology, supervision/oversight, and writing—review/editing of the manuscript.

Corresponding author

Correspondence to Melissa J. DuPont-Reyes.

Ethics declarations

Conflict of interest

Not applicable.

Ethics Approval

The study received research ethics approval from the Institutional Review Boards at MHMR of Tarrant County and Columbia University Irving Medical Center.

Consent to Participate

All participants provided consent/assent to participate in the study.

Consent for Publication

Not applicable.

Code availability

Not applicable.

Additional information

Publisher's Note

Springer Nature remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims in published maps and institutional affiliations.

Rights and permissions

Springer Nature or its licensor (e.g. a society or other partner) holds exclusive rights to this article under a publishing agreement with the author(s) or other rightsholder(s); author self-archiving of the accepted manuscript version of this article is solely governed by the terms of such publishing agreement and applicable law.

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Check for updates. Verify currency and authenticity via CrossMark

Cite this article

DuPont-Reyes, M.J., Datzman, J., Villatoro, A.P. et al. Mental Health Help-Seeking Patterns Among Early Adolescents Across Indicators of Adversity. School Mental Health 16, 177–188 (2024). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12310-023-09628-4

Download citation

  • Accepted:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s12310-023-09628-4

Keywords

Navigation