Cultural Diversity and Adolescent Mental Health

Nisha Dogra
Nadzeya Svirydzenka
Panos Vostanis
Swaran Sing, University of Warwick


Research Objective: To establish the prevalence of mental health problems, service use and unmet need among Gujarati adolescents in the city of Leicester and a London borough.

This research project explores five main questions:

  • What is the prevalence rate of mental health problems in Gujarati young people?
  • What are the patterns of use of specialist CAMHS, other services and informal supports?
  • What factors mediate prevalence and service use rates in the young Gujarati population? 
  • Are the rates of service use different from those of white young people, accounting for similar levels of mental   health needs?
  • Can we develop a methodology that could be used for other identified groups in other areas?

Method: Questionnaires will be used to collect information from young people and their parents on a number of factors: (i) prevalence of mental health problems (e.g. depression, eating disorders, etc.), (ii) service need and use (e.g. precious experience with CAMHS, alternative networks of support), (iii) mediating factors of mental health problems and service use (e.g. family socio-economic status), (iv) demographic information (e.g. age, ethnicity, language, religion, etc.).  This information will be collected from 14 and 15 year old young people and their parents selected from schools in Leicester and a London borough.  

Project Status: Materials for the project are currently being developed. Before summer 2010 (upon the receipt of ethical approval) these will be piloted in a small sample of ethnically representative non-participating 14- and 15-year-olds and their parents recruited.  Secondary schools have already been contacted and data collection will commence in September 2010.

Duration: 2010–2011
Funding: £84,000, NIHR Clinical Research Networks

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