Perceived Needs for Adolescent Mental Health in an Urban Community

Kristen E. Rawlett, Laetitia A. N'Dri, Susan dosReis, Erica Sibinga

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: Stressors in urban communities are detrimental to adolescents’ psychological health. Key factors for success are a community–academic partnership in which researchers and stakeholders in the community work together on program development and research practices. This study elicited students’, parents’, and teachers’ perceived needs for psychological well-being in urban-dwelling adolescents. Methods: Focus groups were conducted with teachers, family members, and students in an urban middle school. Individuals who did not speak English were excluded. Focus group interviews were recorded and transcribed and underwent content analysis to identify key themes. Two investigators independently reviewed and coded the data, with a third expert available if there was disagreement. Results: Six focus groups, two from each stakeholder group, were conducted with a total of 29 participants. Approximately 70% of participants were female, ranging in age from 11 to 68 years. Participants were primarily African American (n = 22), and the remainder were multiracial (n = 4), White (n = 2), and Latino (n = 1). Emergent themes were educational support, social skills, and community landscape. Discussion: Participants identified gaps and approaches to education and clinical care, strengthening social skills, and changing the community landscape as possible effective targets for future interventions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)633-638
Number of pages6
JournalJournal of Pediatric Health Care
Issue number6
StatePublished - Nov 1 2019


  • Adolescent
  • community health
  • community input
  • focus groups
  • mental health

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health


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