Children's adjustment and child mental health service use: the role of parents' attitudes and personal service use in an upper middle class sample.
Additional Document Info
Forty-one parents and their children (20 girls and 21 boys, mean age = 4.33 years, SD = 1.30) participated in a study to examine how parents' personal use of mental health services related to their attitudes toward child mental health services as well as to their children's adjustment. Results indicated that parents' attitudes and personal use of services have implications for children's adjustment and mental health utilization. Parents who personally used mental health services reported more positive help-seeking attitudes, higher level of help-seeking intentions, and lower stigmatization of child mental health services. In addition, parents who used child services in the past reported higher levels of internalizing (not externalizing) behaviors in their children, and parents' previous experience predicted child mental health service use. Results have implications for fostering positive attitudes and reducing stigma about child mental health services that may prevent parents from seeking professional help for their children.