Parents' Interest in Resources to Address Their Child's Behavioral Health Through Primary Care

Christopher J. Mehus, Vaida Kazlauskaite, Sonja Colianni, Iris W. Borowsky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Introduction: The purpose of this study was to investigate parents' interest in additional primary care-based resources for their children's behavioral health, including parenting support. Method: We surveyed 264 English- or Spanish-speaking parents (80% mothers) of children between the ages of 3 and 11 years as they arrived for an appointment at an urban, pediatric primary care clinic. Measures included demographics, the Pediatric Symptom Checklist (PSC-17) as a parent report of the child's behavioral health, and interest in behavioral resources (e.g., a parenting class, online videos). We used multiple regression to evaluate the predictors of resource interest. Results: Most parents reported interest in behavioral health resources, including many parents not reporting behavioral symptoms high enough to meet criteria for a positive PSC-17. Overall, 82% of parents reported interest in at least 1 resource item; 28% reported interest in all 7 resource items. The resource item with the most interest was online videos and resources (64%). More behavioral health issues (indicated by higher PSC-17 total scores) were positively related to interest in resources; 20% screened positive for behavioral health concerns. Discussion: Parental report of child behavioral health issues was related to greater interest in resources for children's behavioral health; of note, much of the interest came from parents reporting levels of behavioral health concerns that would be scored as negative on the screening tool in practice. These results provide support for efforts to increase parenting and behavioral health resources through primary care, and raise questions about how to best direct resources.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalFamilies, Systems and Health
DOIs
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019

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Keywords

  • Behavioral health
  • Parenting
  • Primary care

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

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