December 13, 2023—Children from racial and ethnic minorities with mental health conditions are less likely to have their treatment needs met than their white counterparts, according to a new study co-authored by Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health’s Natalie Slopen.
The study was published on December 5 in Pediatrics.
“Racial and ethnic minority children receive less care and inferior care in the United States, but less is known about how these disparities vary by mental health conditions,” wrote Slopen, assistant professor of social and behavior sciences, and her co-investigator, Andrew Chang of Harvard Medical School. To learn more, they examined data from 2016 to 2021 from 172,107 children enrolled in the nationally representative National Survey of Children’s Health.
The study found that, across all mental health conditions, Black children were less likely to receive needed treatment than white children. In terms of specific conditions, Black children were less likely to receive needed treatment for behavioral problems relative to white children, and Asian and Hispanic children were less likely to receive needed treatment for anxiety.
Read more in HealthDay: Racial Disparities Seen in Unmet Treatment Needs for Pediatric Mental Health