Parental involvement: a grounded theory of the role of parents in adolescent help seeking for mental health problems

Green, Charis, Hassett, A. and Zundel, T. (2018) Parental involvement: a grounded theory of the role of parents in adolescent help seeking for mental health problems. Sage Open, 8 (4). ISSN 2158-2440.

Hassett Green and Zundel 2018.pdf - Accepted Version

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There is a high prevalence of mental health problems within adolescent populations, but they are unlikely to seek help. Adults, including parents are important within this help seeking process. The study therefore aimed to develop a theory of the influence of parents upon adolescent help seeking.

Eighteen semi-structured interviews were conducted with adolescents, their parents and clinicians working within Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services (CAMHS). A grounded theory analysis allowed for the in-depth exploration of participants’ experiences. A model was developed identifying help seeking as a family journey. Parents were highly influential, and parents who were able to be more available to their adolescents tended to be more involved in the help seeking process. Other adults were utilised within the help seeking process. Once adolescents were engaged with the help seeking process they were often able to then seek further help independently.

The findings suggest that consideration should be given to making services accessible to adolescents. CAMHS services should explore ways with adolescents to give control over parental involvement, and ways with parents to develop availability. Future research should consider the experiences of older and younger adolescents separately, and the transition into adult services.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Creative Commons CC BY: This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License ( which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access pages (
Uncontrolled Keywords: Adolescence; mental health; help seeking; parental involvement; grounded theory
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Divisions: Faculty of Social and Applied Sciences > School of Psychology, Politics and Sociology
Depositing User: Dr Alex Hassett
Date Deposited: 11 Dec 2018 09:32
Last Modified: 07 Feb 2019 16:01

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Last edited: 29/06/2016 12:23:00