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Mental health literacy and treatment-seeking behaviors in youth

Prime, Sabella S (2023) Mental health literacy and treatment-seeking behaviors in youth. Undergraduate Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Adolescence is a critical period in a person’s life because youth are undergoing physical, social, and emotional change, and mental health issues emerge. This study examined mental health literacy and the extent to which recognition of mental illness impacts the underutilization of mental health services in youth. The social determinants of health underpin this study. The study design was an exploratory cross-sectional design. Twenty-eight participants, ranging in grades from 8th to 12, were recruited from two urban schools and completed an online survey comprised of the Knowledge and Attitudes to Mental Health Scale and Barriers to Adolescents Seeking Help shortened scale. Using an open-ended textbox, participants also had the option to list mental health treatment facilitators and barriers. Understanding of mental health and help-seeking behaviors were found to have a significant positive correlation (p=0.683; p<.001), indicating the higher one’s understanding of mental health, the more likely they are to seek treatment. The most frequently reported facilitators to seeking treatment included supportive parents, receiving a reward, and perceived need. The most reported barriers were embarrassment and a lack of trust in the provider. Healthcare professionals need to work to remove barriers to treatment so that care is not delayed. Larger-scale studies would be required to further assess Black youth’s mental health treatment-seeking behaviors.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Prime, Sabella Ssap182@pitt.edusap182
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Thesis AdvisorLee, Heeyoungleehee@pitt.eduleehee
Committee MemberScott, Paulpws5@pitt.edupws5
Committee MemberZelazny, Jamiejmz22 @pitt.edujmz22
Committee MemberYang,
Date: 24 April 2023
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 4 April 2023
Approval Date: 24 April 2023
Submission Date: 19 April 2023
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 29
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: David C. Frederick Honors College
School of Nursing > Nursing
Degree: BSN - Bachelor of Science in Nursing
Thesis Type: Undergraduate Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: N/A
Date Deposited: 24 Apr 2023 18:36
Last Modified: 24 Apr 2023 18:36

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