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Service use patterns and mental health symptoms among adolescents exposed to multiple types of trauma

McChesney, GC and Adamson, G and Shevlin, M (2015) Service use patterns and mental health symptoms among adolescents exposed to multiple types of trauma. Journal of Adolescence, 40. ISSN 0140-1971

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Abstract

Few studies have explored how different trauma experiences influence service use. This study explores patterns of service use amongst 6483 adolescents aged between 13 and 18, and examines if such patterns are associated with trauma profiles, demographic variables, and mental health disorders. Data from the National Comorbidity Survey – Adolescent Supplement (NCS-A) were used. A latent class analysis identified four adolescent trauma sub-groups: ‘high risk’, ‘sexual risk’ ‘non-sexual risk’, and ‘low risk’. Regression analysis was used to explore the relationship between service use, trauma classes, and mental health outcomes. Significant relationships were found between service use, trauma sub-groups, demographics and mental health outcomes. Despite the effectiveness of mental health services, only a minority of adolescents exposed to different traumas use such resources. However, this study may go some way towards providing an understanding of the trauma backgrounds, demographic predictors and mental health disorders associated with service use.

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