The overall goal of this proposed research is to investigate the role of parental involvement in psychotherapy in school-based mental health services for a racially/ethnically diverse sample of adolescents. Researchers and policy-makers have highlighted the significance of involving multiple stakeholders in treatment planning and implementation as well as emphasizing the importance of family variables. Particularly, evidence has shown that parents play a crucial role in service utilization, facilitating improvements during treatment, and maintaining these changes after treatment for children and adolescents is complete. In addition, researchers have hypothesized that greater family involvement in services may be especially important to ethnic minorities due to collectivistic values that place more emphasis on the role of family. Therefore, culturally appropriate therapy that involves parents may be particularly critical. Unfortunately, empirical research on the role of parental involvement in the treatment of children's mental health problems is scarce. Thus, the proposed research addresses gaps in the literature by aiming to: 1) examine the level of therapist preference for parental involvement in the child's psychotherapy, the parents' preference for their own level of involvement, and the parents' actual involvement; 2) identify contextual and parental variables associated with parental involvement in psychotherapy; 3) examine the relationship between race/ethnicity, contextual & parental variables, and parental involvement; 4) investigate the effect of parental involvement in youth psychotherapy outcomes; and 5) examine whether race/ethnicity moderates the effect of parental involvement on youth psychotherapy outcomes. The sample will consist of 260 adolescents (aged 12-19) who have received school-based mental health services, their parents, and their therapists. Secondary data analysis will be based on data collected from a baseline interview and four follow-up interviews over the course of 12 months. Research instruments measure preferred and actual parental involvement, sociodemographic, contextual, and parental variables, and treatment outcomes. Analysis will involve descriptive statistics, analysis of variance, correlational analysis and regression. The findings from the proposed study may have implications for improving the delivery and quality of care for ethnic minority adolescents; clinicians who wish to involve ethnic minority parents in their client's counseling could apply the research findings to guide them in addressing the contextual and parental factors that impact their involvement. The results from this study may inform and facilitate the development of interventions that encourage parents to play a key role in their child's mental health treatment. ? ? ?

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH)
Predoctoral Individual National Research Service Award (F31)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-HOP-U (29))
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Light, Enid
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San Diego State University
Schools of Arts and Sciences
San Diego
United States
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Liang, June; Matheson, Brittany E; Douglas, Jennifer M (2016) Mental Health Diagnostic Considerations in Racial/Ethnic Minority Youth. J Child Fam Stud 25:1926-1940