To whom do adolescents turn for help? Differences between disturbed and nondisturbed adolescents.

Abstract

The focus of this investigation was to 1) identify those adolescents experiencing distress; 2) examine the formal and informal helping agents that adolescents seek out for help for emotional problems; and 3) describe adolescents' perceptions of the helpfulness of selected helping agents. Adolescents (N = 497) from three high schools in a large metropolitan area in the Midwest, representing a broad socioeconomic spectrum, were administered instruments related to self-image, delinquency, symptomatology, and help seeking. The prevalence rate of disturbance was 22.3%. Results show that disturbed adolescents sought help from alcohol/drug abuse centers, teenage drop-in centers, and mental health professionals more frequently than nondisturbed adolescents. In additional, both groups frequently sought help from parents and friends and perceived this help as beneficial. Implications of these findings for the development of adolescent mental health services are discussed.

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@article{Offer1991ToWD, title={To whom do adolescents turn for help? Differences between disturbed and nondisturbed adolescents.}, author={Dafna Offer and Kenneth I. Howard and K A Schonert and E Ostrov}, journal={Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry}, year={1991}, volume={30 4}, pages={623-30} }