Research: Parental Perspective on Mental Health Disorders and Its Effects on Internalizing Symptoms
Awards: Somers Science Fair 2022 Participant
Mentor: Lauren Southwick
Research Location: University of Pennsylvania
It is reported that 20% of Latino adolescents have mental health problems or disorders. Sometimes, due to the wishes of parents/guardians, adolescents do not receive professional help. When it comes to mental health disorders, the Latino community tends to ignore them. Research has shown that when parents have a negative perspective on mental health illnesses, it can affect the adolescent's mental health and could lead to worse effects. Research supports that the attitudes of Latino parents affect the mental health of their children. The purpose of this study is to understand the correlation between parental and youth perspective and its effect on adolescent mental health. Previous research by Dixon Silva, et al. (2019) gathered a small group to conduct a similar study. Parents were gathered to see their perspective on mental health, and how they would help their child who might have symptoms of anxiety or depression. However, children were not given a scale or interviewed to see their perspective on mental health disorders. To conduct this study, 100 participants and their families will be given a survey. The stigma-9 questionnaire (Gierk et al., 2018), will be given to families to fill out and submit. In addition to the stigma-9 adolescents will be given the RCADS-Child scale (Chorpita et al., 2000) to measure symptoms of anxiety and depression. Data is predicted to show that parents have a negative perspective on mental health. Parents may believe that having mental health disorders is a sign of weakness. Due to stigma and how they were taught, parents are influenced to believe that mental health disorders are something that shouldn’t be taken seriously. It is predicted that as parents have this critical way of thinking, a detrimental effect is caused to the adolescent. It is expected that a correlation will be found between negative parental perspective and youth increasing anxiety/depression symptoms.