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2019 American Public Health Association (APHA) Conference


Background. To promote effectiveness in behavioral health treatment, the system of care framework and wraparound model accentuate inclusion of family and youth as important stakeholders, not just as consumers. This has challenged conventional practices; and youth and caregivers' perspectives have become integral to treatment planning and service delivery. This study explored caregivers and youth's perspectives of behavioral health needs and psychosocial functioning. Methods. This exploratory study utilized data collected in a Midwestern, suburban county as part of the national Child and Family Study of youth with complex behavioral health needs enrolled in the Child Mental Health Wraparound initiative. The sample consisted of 25 caregiver-youth pairs. Assessment measures included the Pediatric Symptom Checklist (PSC) and the Columbia Impairment Scale (CIS). Independent t-tests were used to examine differences in caregiver and youth perspectives. Results. Significant differences were identified in caregivers and youth's perspectives of youth's behavioral health on the PSC, but no significant differences between caregivers and youth on the CIS measure. Responses showed that compared to youth, caregivers perceived a higher level of functional impairment in interpersonal relationships, academic, and community functioning. Further, caregivers' views of severity of functional impairment varied based on the caregiver type. Conclusion. Divergent perspectives regarding youth's behavioral health needs and functioning between caregivers and youth have implications for behavioral health treatment planning and service delivery. Additional research is needed on collaborative assessments and implications of different views for practice and outcomes.



Karikari, I., Walton, B. A., & Bishop, C. (2019, Nov.). Divergent caregiver and youth perspectives regarding behavioral health needs and psychosocial functioning: An exploratory study. Presentation at the 2019 American Public Health Association (APHA) Conference, Philadelphia, PA.

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