alexa Prevalence of Mental Disorders and Use of Services in an Immigrant Adolescent Population: Findings from a National Mental Health Survey
ISSN: 2375-4494

Journal of Child and Adolescent Behavior
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Research Article

Prevalence of Mental Disorders and Use of Services in an Immigrant Adolescent Population: Findings from a National Mental Health Survey

Alexander M Ponizovsky1* and Ivonne Mansbach-Kleinfeld1,2

1Department of Mental Health Services, Ministry of Health, Jerusalem, Israel

2Department of Interdisciplinary Center (IDC) – Herzliya)

*Corresponding Author:
Alexander M Ponizovsky
Department of Mental Health Services
Ministry of Health, 39 Yirmiyahu St
POBox 1176, Jerusalem 9446724, Israel
Tel: +972-050-624-3542
E-mail: [email protected]

Received Date: November 19, 2014; Accepted Date: January 11, 2014; Published Date: January 15, 2015

Citation: Ponizovsky AM and Mansbach-Kleinfeld I (2015) Prevalence of Mental Disorders and Use of Services in an Immigrant Adolescent Population: Findings from a National Mental Health Survey. J Child Adolesc Behav 3:176.doi:10.4172/2375-4494.1000176

Copyright: ©2015 Alexander M Ponizovsky, et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.



Abstract Objective: The Israel Survey of Mental Health among Adolescents (ISMEHA), carried out from 2004 through 2005, aimed to ascertain the prevalence of mental disorders, service use and associated risk factors. We aimed to estimate the prevalence of mental disorders and the services provided among immigrant adolescents in comparison with Israel-born peers. Method: A total of 131 adolescent immigrants and 826 Israel-born adolescents, representative of the 14 to 17 age group, and their mothers were interviewed at home, using the Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire (SDQ), the Development and Well-Being Assessment (DAWBA) inventory and use of services questions. Results: Immigrant adolescents and their Israel-born peers were equally likely to have a mental disorder (OR = 0.93; CI 0.45 - 1.92), although the SDQ screening instrument showed that mothers of immigrant adolescents rated their child’s difficulties significantly higher and their prosocial behavior significantly lower than parents of their Israelborn peers. Immigrants’ mothers were as likely as mothers of Israeli-born to use professional and/or informal services for their child's mental health problems (OR = 0.90; CI 0.52-1.56). Being single or divorced was the only risk factor for services underuse among mothers of immigrant adolescents as compared to mothers of Israel-born peers (OR = 0.24 CI 0.07 - 0.88). Conclusions: The results suggest that, in general, the mental health of immigrant adolescents is comparable to that of their Israel-born peers but single or divorced mothers of immigrant adolescents underuse services for their children's mental problems. These data will enable policymakers to plan services and prevention programs for the target population.


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