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Race and ethnic differences in mental health need and services received in justice-involved youth

Leanne L. Heaton

Children and Youth Services Review, 2018, vol. 90, issue C, 54-65

Abstract: This study examined differences in mental health need and in services received in seven different racial and ethnic groups of justice-involved youth. Data came from a nationally representative sample 7073 youth in residential placement across 36 states representing five program types. Descriptive analyses and regression modeling techniques were used to examine the relationship between race/ethnicity, mental health need, and mental health services received. Results show that almost 10% of youth self-identified exclusively as American Indian or Alaska Native, Asian, Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander, or multiracial. In almost all instances, the needs of one or more of these non-dominate groups were significantly higher than non-Hispanic whites, African Americans, and/or Hispanics. Native Hawaiian or other Pacific Islander youth had the highest rate of suicide ideations and the second highest rate of a suicide attempts, but approximately 17% of these youth were in a program that did not screen for suicide risk. Moreover, around half of all Native Hawaiian/Pacific Islander youth were in placements that used untrained and/or no staff to evaluate youth for suicide risk. Multiracial youth were more likely to receive any counseling compared to Hispanic youth, but they received significantly less frequent counseling than African Americans and Hispanics. This study validates the need for samples that include sufficient numbers of non-dominant racial/ethnic groups because mental health problems appear to be elevated in these subpopulations.

Keywords: Race/ethnicity; Juvenile justice; Mental health (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
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Handle: RePEc:eee:cysrev:v:90:y:2018:i:c:p:54-65