Sociodemographic and mental health characteristics of children who use mental health care for specific reasons

D. G.M. Eijgermans, P. W. Jansen, A. M. Shuker, J. F.P. Heydelberg, H. Raat, W. Jansen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Purpose: In this study, we aimed to identify for what reasons children receive mental health care and what sociodemographic and mental health characteristics are associated with these specific reasons. Methods: This study investigated 777 children who consulted a psychologist/psychiatrist between 9 and 13 years old. Data were retrieved from the Generation R Study, a population-based cohort in Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Sociodemographic and mental health characteristics were measured between birth and 13 years old. Logistic regression analyses were used to study the characteristics that were associated with eight parent-reported reasons for mental health care use. Results: Behavioural problems were most often mentioned as reason for mental health care use (36 %), followed by life events and family problems (15 %) and emotional problems (15 %). Several sociodemographic and mental health characteristics were associated with some of the reasons for care use. Sex was most frequently associated with the reasons for care use. Life events and family problems as reason for care use were associated with most sociodemographic characteristics, e.g. migrant origin and family situation. No associations were found for the children using mental health care for social problems, physical problems, cognitive developmental problems and other problems. Conclusion: Distinctive profiles of sociodemographic characteristics were found for some reasons for care use, while for other reasons no associations were found with sociodemographic or mental health characteristics. Implications of these findings and suggestions for future research are discussed. In conclusion, this study provides some insights into the profiles of care users, but still many questions remain.

Original languageEnglish
Article number106933
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2023

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The Generation R Study is conducted by Erasmus Medical Center in close collaboration with the School of Law and Faculty of Social Sciences of the Erasmus University Rotterdam, the city of Rotterdam, the Youth and Family Centre (CJG) Rijnmond and the Stichting Trombosedienst and Artsenlaboratorium Rijnmond, Rotterdam. We gratefully acknowledge the contribution of children and their parents, general practitioners, hospitals, midwives, and pharmacies in Rotterdam.

Funding Information:
The first phase of the Generation R Study is made possible by financial support from the Netherlands Organization for Health Research and Development (ZonMW, Grant No 10.000.1003).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors


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