Rates and predictors of mental health service use among dual system youth

Minseop Kim, Antonio R. Garcia, Nahri Jung, Sheila Barnhart

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


Decades of research has indicated that a significant proportion of youth involved in the child welfare system are at risk of crossing over to the juvenile justice system. These youth, commonly referred to as ‘dual system youth’, experience elevated needs for mental health (MH) services. However, little is known about the pattern of MH service use by dual system youth. This study investigated the rates and predictors of MH service use among dual system youth, using administrative data on two cohorts of youth who experienced dual involvement in 2003 and 2012, respectively. Results show that about 75% of dual system youth received MH services, and there was an increase in MH service use over time. However, older youth, males, and those remaining at home were less likely to utilize MH services. Furthermore, among youth who received MH services, older youth, youth of color, and those remaining at home received fewer services, controlling for need for MH services. The findings suggest that while the use of MH services by dual system youth is likely to increase, these trends are conferred to a particular subset of individuals and case characteristics. Implications for practice and research are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Article number105024
JournalChildren and Youth Services Review
StatePublished - Jul 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Elsevier Ltd


  • Child welfare
  • Crossover youth
  • Dual system youth
  • Juvenile justice
  • Mental health
  • Mental health service use

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science


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