Faculty Publications

Adolescent Mental Health And Culturally Responsive Pediatric Care

Document Type

Book Chapter


Adolescence, Culturally responsive care, Gender, Intersectionality, Mental health, Race, Underdiagnosed and undertreated

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Cultural Issues in Healthcare: Emerging Challenges and Opportunities

First Page


Last Page



Youth between the ages of 10 and 19 years account for almost 42 million people or approximately 13% of the population of the United States. The growing diversity in racial and ethnic groups in the United States has been more pronounced in the child and adolescent population than in the adult population. The unique and urgent mental health and medical needs of youth in general and racial, ethnic, and cultural minorities in particular cannot be overstated. The distinctive issues and challenges based on race, age, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and other structural and ecological barriers must be considered when addressing optimal pediatric mental health care. Commonly reported challenges reinforce the need to provide cultural responsive pediatric health care to meet the needs of the adolescent in culturally, developmentally, and relationally sensitive ways. In this chapter entitled, “Adolescent Mental Health and Culturally Responsive Pediatric Care,” the authors have four aims: (a) to discuss the biological and developmental stages often seen in the adolescent population in the United States, (b) to review cultural characteristics of the adolescent population, (c) to provide a brief review of common mental health problems in adolescents and the often-reported barriers and disparities unique to this population, and (d) to summarize the state of evidenced-based strategies for mental disorders used in pediatric care. The authors conclude with a case that illustrates the role of effective communication by using a culturally responsive approach to provide ethical and high-quality health care.


Center for Educational Transformation

Original Publication Date


DOI of published version