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Adolescence Explored: Mental Health and Substance Abuse in an Underserved Population

McAuley, Kristen Michelle (2004) Adolescence Explored: Mental Health and Substance Abuse in an Underserved Population. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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The Surgeon General's Conference on Children's Mental Health held in 2000 brought attention to the fact that children and adolescents with mental health and substance abuse problems are an underserved population. Rates of psychiatric disorders are high among this population, yet very few adolescents who need help actually receive it. A comprehensive literature review was undertaken to examine various aspects of adolescent health, including rates of mental health and substance abuse as well as treatment and mental health service utilization among this population. Barriers to care are discussed, with emphasis on gender, ethnicity, psychiatric diagnosis, treatment setting, and parental influences. In the past, the specialty mental health care sector has been relied on to provide treatment for adolescents. This thesis examines school-based mental health services, and Student Assistance Programs in particular, as alternatives to treatment for the adolescent population. School-based clinics have the potential to reduce some barriers to care, hence increasing rates of care for adolescents with mental health and substance abuse problems. Other recommendations to reduce barriers to care and increase rates of treatment are presented. Mental health and substance abuse have a significant impact on the health of the nation. These disorders cause or exacerbate numerous health problems, including cancer and heart disease. In 1996, mental health problems cost the United States $150 billion in direct and indirect costs (USDHHS, 2000). The relevance of public health in this thesis is exemplified by the potential of public health to decrease the health consequences associated with these disorders by working to increase rates of treatment.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
McAuley, Kristen
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairTerry, Martha Annmaterry@pitt.eduMATERRY
Committee MemberFertman, Carlcarl@pitt.eduCARL
Committee MemberHershey, Nathanhershey@pitt.eduHERSHEY
Date: 17 December 2004
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 2 December 2004
Approval Date: 17 December 2004
Submission Date: 10 December 2004
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: School of Public Health > Behavioral and Community Health Sciences
Degree: MPH - Master of Public Health
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Adolescence; mental health; substance abuse
Other ID:, etd-12102004-083752
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 20:10
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:54


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