Alonzo, D. (2020). The Role of Parenting Characteristics in the Mental Health Treatment Utilization of Latino Adolescents with Suicidality. Suicidology Online-Sol.
vol. 11 pp. 19-28
Suicide is the third leading cause of death for individuals aged 10 to 24 years old in the United States. Among Latino adolescents, the risk is even more pronounced. Latino youth show higher rates of suicidal ideation and attempted suicide than non-Latino youth. The high rate of suicide in Latino youth is even more concerning given that Latinos greatly underutilize mental health treatment. The goal of this study is to examine the role of maternal parenting quality, maternal involvement, and parental support for autonomy on the likelihood that Latino adolescents with suicidal ideation (SI) will utilize mental health services. Data from Wave 1 of the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health was utilized. Parenting, clinical, access, and executive function variables were examined via logistic regression. Daily mood fluctuations (OR = 6.17, p<.05, 95% CI [1.19, 31.98]) and frequent difficulty focusing attention (OR=4.88, p<.001, 95% CI [0.55, 5.76]) were associated with an increased likelihood of receiving treatment. None of the parenting variables were significant. Our findings indicate that daily mood fluctuation and difficulties focusing attention are associated with receipt of mental health services in Latino adolescents with SI, above and beyond the role of parenting characteristics. The protective role that parental autonomy support, maternal parenting quality, and maternal involvement/engagement in decisionmaking play for Non-Latino White adolescents may have less of an impact for Latino adolescents in promoting their mental health service use in contrast to these strong cultural values and norms.
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