Aligning dissemination and implementation science with health policies to improve children’s mental health.

Kimberly Eaton Hoagwood, Jonathan Purtle, Julia Spandorfer, Robin Peth-Pierce, Sarah Mc Cue Horwitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The prevalence of mental health problems among children (ages 0–21) in the United States remains unacceptably high and, post-COVID-19, is expected to increase dramatically. Decades of psychological knowledge about effective treatments should inform the delivery of better services. Dissemination and implementation (D&I) science has been heralded as a solution to the persistent problem of poor quality services and has, to some extent, improved our understanding of the contexts of delivery systems that implement effective practices. However, there are few studies demonstrating clear, population-level impacts of psychological interventions on children. Momentum is growing among communities, cities, states, and some federal agencies to build “health in all policies” to address broad familial, social, and economic factors known to affect children’s healthy development and mental health. These health policy initiatives offer a rare opportunity to repurpose D&I science, shifting it from a primary focus on evidence-based practice implementation, to a focus on policy development and implementation to support child and family health and well-being. This shift is critical as states develop policy responses to address the health and mental health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on already-vulnerable families. We provide a typology for building research on D&I and children’s mental health policy. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)<strong xmlns:lang="en">Public Significance Statement—The prevalence of mental health problems among children remains unacceptably high. Communities, cities, states, and some federal agencies are building “health in all policies” initiatives that address broad familial, social, and economic factors known to affect children’s healthy development. These initiatives offer a rare opportunity to repurpose D&I science and shift it from a primary focus on evidence-based practice implementation, to a focus on policy dissemination and implementation. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2020 APA, all rights reserved)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1130-1145
Number of pages16
JournalAmerican Psychologist
Volume75
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

Keywords

  • children
  • implementation science
  • mental health
  • policy-making
  • psychological science

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Aligning dissemination and implementation science with health policies to improve children’s mental health.'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this