Factors that Influence Mental Health Services Utilization by Young Adults with a Past Year Major Depressive Episode
AbstractFactors that Influence Mental Health Services Utilization By Young Adults with a Past Year Major Depressive EpisodeKelley Smith, Ph.D.Director: Joseph Shields, Ph.D.Young adults are America's future leaders, workers, and parents who face undue burden and stress due to a lack of treatment for behavioral health problems such as depression. Depression during young adulthood increases vulnerability and can impact healthy adult development (Reinherz, Gaiconia, Hauf, Wasserman, and Silverman, 1999). Effective mental health treatment may be used as a tool to intervene, facilitate healing, and prevent further negative consequences, but, young adults must first have access to treatment and utilize mental health treatment services. The purpose of the study was to identify the factors that determine mental health services utilization (MHSU) by young adults, aged 18-25, with a past year Major Depressive Episode (MDE), and seeks to answer the following research question: "What are the facilitating factors and barriers to mental health services utilization among young adults aged 18 to 24 who experienced a major depressive episode in the past year?" The study used an adapted version of The Behavioral Model of Health Services Utilization (Andersen, 1995) to test the hypothesis that predisposing, enabling, and need factors would influence the extent to which mental health services were utilized by young adults, aged 18 to 25, with a major depressive episode in the past year. The 2007 National Study on Drug Use and Health (NSDUH) was used in the study to explore barriers and facilitating factors to MHSU by young adults. A series of hierarchical logistic regression analyses was be used to compute the influence of each independent variable on the likelihood that young adults would utilize mental health services. Findings from this logistic regression analysis indicate that being white, being female, having more education, having concerns about the stigma associated with mental health treatment, having health insurance coverage, having more MDE severity, having a substance dependence problem, and having poor perceptions of self-health increased the odds of mental health services utilization among young adults with a past year MDE.
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