Attitudes toward child mental health services: adaptation and development of an attitude scale
Turner, Erlanger A
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Research shows that a considerable number of children and adolescents suffer needlessly from psychological problems and only about 50% of those receive the necessary services. Considering the impact of untreated child psychological problems on problems in adulthood, it is important to examine the influence of attitudes on seeking mental health service for children. Currently, no known measure exists to measure attitudes toward mental health services for children. Building on previous research, the goal of the present study was to develop a measure of individuals' attitudes toward mental health services for children. Using confirmatory factor analysis, the factor structure was assessed using a sample of university students (N = 250). In addition, several hypotheses were tested examining the influence of previous experience with mental health services on attitudes towards psychological services and mental health stigma. Finally, differences in child characteristics on intended help-seeking were examined. The measure developed consists of 26-items scored from 0 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree). Overall, results indicated that the 3-factor structure of the measure developed was valid and reliable. Also, consistent with previous research on mental health services results supported the hypotheses of the current study. Future research will examine whether the 3-factor structure is replicated using a sample of parents.