Social Experiences With Mental Health Service Use Among US Adolescents

Document Type


Publication Date



Background: Little is known about the associations of social experiences with mental health service use. Aim: This study aimed to classify social experiences variables in the past year and examine the associations of selected variables in social experiences with mental health service use among US adolescents. Methods: A total of 13,038 adolescents (aged 12 to 17), of which 2208 received mental health services, were from the 2018 National Survey on Drug Use and Health. Multivariate logistic regression (MLR) analysis was conducted. Results: The overall prevalence of mental health service use was 16.1%. 44 variables on social experiences were grouped into 10 disjoint clusters and one variable from each cluster was selected for MLR analysis. Being female, African American, Hispanics, insured and having depression in the past year were associated with increased odds of mental health service use. Negative feelings about going to school, having a serious fight at school/work, active involvement in substance use help programs, knowledge of drug prevention, negative perceptions about the role of religious beliefs on life decisions were positively associated with mental health service use. Conclusion: Mental health service use is associated with feelings about school and peers, perceptions about drug use, and involvement in activities.