Framework for Understanding and Addressing Racial and Ethnic Disparities in Children's Mental Health

Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am. 2022 Apr;31(2):179-191. doi: 10.1016/j.chc.2021.11.001. Epub 2022 Feb 25.


In this framework, we synthesize the results of studies addressing racial/ethnic disparities in children's mental health through 4 domains hypothesized to impact minoritized children and their families: (1) policies, (2) institutional systems, (3) neighborhoods/community system, and (4) individual/family-level factors. We focus on children and adolescents, presenting findings that may impact mental health outcomes for major racial/ethnic groups in North America: Black/African American, Latinx, Asian, and American Indian youth. We conclude by suggesting areas for needed research, including whether certain domains of influence demonstrate differential impact for inequities reduction depending on the youth's race/ethnicity.

Keywords: Equity; Racial and ethnic disparities; Youth mental health.

Publication types

  • Review
  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Child
  • Ethnicity*
  • Humans
  • Mental Health*