Current estimates suggest that 16% to 22% of children and adolescents in the United States are diagnosed with mental health disorders, and nearly six million children and adolescents experience symptoms that interrupt their daily functioning (Chung, Edgar-Smith, Palmer, Bartholomew, & Delambo, 2008). Understanding the functioning of families seeking mental health services is imperative to tailoring services in order to meet their needs.
The purpose of the present study was to explore and describe the functioning of families as they initiate outpatient community mental health services in an effort to better understand their needs and ultimately to tailor the services to meet these needs. Two research questions were posed in the present study: 1) What typology of family functioning exists for families initiating outpatient services from a community mental health treatment facility, and 2) In what specific areas of family functioning are families obtaining unhealthy scores most frequently?
This study utilized an exploratory analysis, specifically a k-means cluster analysis, in order to identify and describe a typology of family functioning as perceived by families initiating outpatient mental health services. The findings suggest that three clusters emerged from the data including: 1) families who obtained healthy scores on all of the subscales on the measurement used, 2) families who obtained unhealthy scores on all of the subscales, and 3) families who obtained healthy scores on some of the subscales and unhealthy scores on others. Given that this study is a first in the field, the results have both pertinent research and clinical implications.
|Commitee:||Johnson, Kristina, Kerr, Mary Margaret, Ye, Feifei|
|School:||University of Pittsburgh|
|Department:||Psychology in Education|
|School Location:||United States -- Pennsylvania|
|Source:||DAI-B 74/07(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Mental health, Developmental psychology|
|Keywords:||Family functioning, Mental health treatment, Outpatient treatment|
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