This study explored the illness perceptions, attitudes towards mental health services and adherence behaviors among a group of adolescents in treatment for mood disorders in an urban city in the United States. Seventy adolescents completed a battery of questionnaires assessing demographics (e.g., gender, family income), perceptions of illness (e.g., consequences, treatment control) and overall attitudes towards mental health services. Adolescents and their parents also reported on the youth's adherence to both psychotropic medication and mental health appointments. Simultaneous logistic regression analyses revealed that attitudes and family income made a significant and unique contribution in explaining adolescents' adherence behaviors. Interventions that help adolescents become aware of their attitudes toward mental health services and provide information on dimensions of mood disorders, such as the chronic nature of depression and the effectiveness of treatment, may impact adherence behavior. Also, among a group of families with access to services, yearly family income remained a significant barrier to attending appointments all of the time. Policy implications are discussed.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Phychiatric Mental Health
- Health Policy
- Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
- Psychiatry and Mental health