Mental health worries, communication, and needs in the year of the U.S. terrorist attack: National KySS survey findings

Bernadette Mazurek Melnyk, Nancy Fischbeck Feinstein, Jane Tuttle, Zendi Moldenhauer, Pamela Herendeen, Tener Goodwin Veenema, Holly Brown, Sharon Gullo, Madelyn McMurtrie, Leigh Small

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: To reduce the escalating rate of mental health/psychosocial morbidities in children and adolescents, NAPNAP initiated a new national campaign entitled Keep your children/yourself Safe and Secure (KySS). The objective of the first phase of this campaign was to conduct a national survey to assess the mental health knowledge, attitudes, worries, communication, and needs for intervention of children/teens, parents, and pediatric health care providers. This first report from the KySS survey describes the child/teen and parental findings. Methods: A cross-section of 621 children/teens and 603 of their parents from 24 states completed the KySS survey during visits to their primary health care providers. Results: The five greatest worries of both children/teens and their parents included knowing how to cope with stressful things in their lives, anxiety, depression, parent-child relationships, and problems with self-esteem. The majority of children/teens and their parents reported that they do not talk to their primary care providers about these issues. Participants expressed a multitude of needs and suggestions regarding how to better recognize, prevent, and deal with mental health problems. Conclusion: Opportunities must be created for children/teens and their parents to communicate their mental health worries and needs to each other and to their pediatric primary care providers to facilitate earlier diagnosis and treatment of mental health problems. Interventions are urgently needed to assist children and teens in coping with the multitude of stressors related to growing up in today's society.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)222-234
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Pediatric Health Care
Issue number5
StatePublished - 2002
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


Dive into the research topics of 'Mental health worries, communication, and needs in the year of the U.S. terrorist attack: National KySS survey findings'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this