Center Happenings - June 2015

 

New Report on Disparities in Child and Adolescent Mental Health

CMMHR Director Dr. Margarita Alegria and colleagues have just published a new report on disparities in child and adolescent mental health as part of the William T. Grant Foundation’s series on inequality in the United States. Entitled Disparities in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services in the U.S., the report synthesizes existing research on some of the primary mechanisms during childhood and adolescence that lead to mental health disparities, including socioeconomic status, exposure to childhood adversities, family structure and neighborhood characteristics. In particular, Dr. Alegria and her co-authors focus on the way these mechanisms might interact with race and ethnicity to increase vulnerability to mental health problems among minority groups.

  The report also outlines an 8-point research agenda as a guide for future work to target the causes of health inequalities, with the goal of preventing mental health problems before they develop. However, the authors also note that the common distinction between disparities in health and other areas of society is artificial, and that the elimination of health disparities will ultimately require action to address the numerous ways in which minority youth are exposed to increased risks and hardship throughout development.  In their conclusion, they write: “Child mental health highlights the intersection of various forms of inequality—specifically because the developing mind is shaped by the different settings in which a child lives—and makes clear the need to attack inequity as a whole in order to eliminate its effects in any single sphere of life or health.”


Check out the full report, along with other papers from the Inequality series, for free at the W.T. Grant Foundation website.

 

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The mission of the Center for Multicultural Mental Health Research is to generate innovative mental health services research that helps shape policy, practice and service delivery to reduce disparities and improve the well-being of multicultural populations. 

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