Parents' Barriers to Using School Psychology Services for Their Child's Mental Health Problems

Ohan, Jeneva L., Seward, Rebecca J., Stallman, Helen M., Bayliss, Donna M. and Sanders, Matthew R. (2015) Parents' Barriers to Using School Psychology Services for Their Child's Mental Health Problems. School Mental Health, 7 4: 287-297. doi:10.1007/s12310-015-9152-1

Author Ohan, Jeneva L.
Seward, Rebecca J.
Stallman, Helen M.
Bayliss, Donna M.
Sanders, Matthew R.
Title Parents' Barriers to Using School Psychology Services for Their Child's Mental Health Problems
Journal name School Mental Health   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1866-2625
Publication date 2015-12-01
Year available 2015
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1007/s12310-015-9152-1
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 7
Issue 4
Start page 287
End page 297
Total pages 11
Place of publication New York, United States
Publisher Springer
Collection year 2016
Language eng
Formatted abstract
School psychologists are in a key position to be able to address children’s mental health problems, and current models emphasise service provision that collaborates between communities, families, and schools. Thus, it is important to determine what barriers, if any, parents perceive in seeking help from school psychologists when they have a mental health concern for their child. This study aimed to determine: (1) the types of barriers that parents report to engaging in services with school psychologists and (2) the relative frequencies of these barriers. Participants were parents with (n = 100) and without (n = 154) concerns about their child’s emotional well-being or behaviour. For parents with concerns, 26 % had engaged in school psychology services in the past year; 73 of the remaining 74 reported barriers to seeking school psychology care despite their concerns about their child. The majority of parents without concerns (about 80 %) also reported barriers to using school psychology care should they need to. Reported barriers were similar for both groups, with just four categories accounting for the majority of barriers: stigma, lack of school resources, perceptions that school psychology is ineffective, and concerns about lack of confidentiality. For parents reporting no barriers, a strong positive relationship with school staff was key. Specific strategies for school psychology to address these barriers are suggested.
Keyword Help-seeking
Mental health
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2016 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
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