Racial and ethnic disparities in pediatric mental health

Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am. 2010 Oct;19(4):759-74. doi: 10.1016/j.chc.2010.07.001.


Disparities remain in mental health status and care for racial and ethnic minority youth, despite national attention to disparity reduction. This article offers a comprehensive picture of the status of pediatric disparities, by addressing the major areas affecting minority youth mental health, including: prevention of problems, need for services, access to care, mental health treatment types, and treatment outcomes. The authors address relevant factors in the family, community and socioeconomic context, and describe various local and national programs that aim to tackle the obstacles and fill the gaps in high-quality care for racial/ethnic minority youth. The article concludes by offering recommendations for improvement that acknowledge the importance of understanding preferences and attitudes toward treatment, ensuring that screening and diagnosis is appropriate to minority youth, and ensuring that evidence-based programs are available at multiple levels to best service children and succeed in addressing their needs.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Child Health Services / ethics
  • Child Health Services / organization & administration
  • Continental Population Groups / psychology
  • Cultural Diversity*
  • Ethnic Groups* / psychology
  • Evidence-Based Practice
  • Health Services Needs and Demand
  • Healthcare Disparities* / ethnology
  • Healthcare Disparities* / organization & administration
  • Humans
  • Mental Health Services / ethics
  • Mental Health Services / organization & administration
  • Minority Groups* / psychology
  • Preventive Psychiatry
  • United States