Latino Family Participation in Youth Mental Health Services: Treatment Retention, Engagement, and Response
Format of Original
Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review
Although researchers have identified a multitude of factors that contribute to family participation in mental health services, few studies have examined them specifically for Latino youth and their families in the U.S., a population that continues to experience significant disparities related to the availability, accessibility, and quality of mental health services. Latino youth and their families are at greater risk of dropping out of treatment prematurely and demonstrating poor treatment engagement, both of which have subsequent negative effects on treatment response outcomes. In order to help to guide efforts to improve the accessibility and quality of mental health services for Latino youth and their families, the current paper integrates modern conceptualization of family participation in youth mental health services and provides a summary of contextual factors within an ecological framework (Bronfenbrenner in The ecology of human development: experiments by nature and design, Harvard University Press, Cambridge, 1979). The current review aims to integrate empirical research on the impact of various contextual factors across multiple levels (i.e., culture, community, mental health system, family, parent/caregiver, and child/adolescent) on Latino family participation in youth mental health services, including treatment retention, engagement, and response. Clinical implications will be discussed, and an integrated, conceptual model will be presented. Not only does this model help to demonstrate the way in which existing literature is conceptually linked, but it also helps to highlight factors and underlying processes that health care providers, administrators, and policy makers must consider in working to improve mental health services for Latino youth and their families living in the U.S.