This quantitative study of 460 adolescents examined levels of satisfaction in a number of different domains such as general satisfaction, access to treatment, cultural sensitivity, functioning of the client, treatment planning, outcome of services, and social connectedness, of adolescents who received mental health treatment in a county's behavioral health care system. Additionally, this study accounted for the differences in age, race/ethnicity, gender, length of time in treatment, and treatment outcomes. While there were no statistical differences found based on the gender, racial/ethnic groups, and contact with the legal system, mean differences in age was observed. That is, younger adolescents reported lower levels of satisfaction with general satisfaction, perception of access, and treatment planning in their encounter with mental health services as compared to older adolescents. Also, adolescents receiving treatment for more than one year reported higher levels of satisfaction in four of the seven domains assessed. Specifically, those adolescents in treatment for more than a year showed higher levels of general satisfaction, treatment planning, outcome of services, and perception of function. Finally, looking at the differences in arrests both before and after treatment, encounters with the police, expulsions/suspensions from school before treatment and after treatment, did not produce any statistical differences in the two groups. Overall, a large percentage of subjects were expelled/suspended from school regardless of whether they were in treatment for less than a year or longer. The results of this study points to the importance of accessing adolescent's perceptions of their experiences as recipients of mental health services. Important policy concerns exist with regards to the delivery of mental health services to adolescents.

LLU Discipline

Social Policy and Social Research


Social Work and Social Ecology


School of Science and Technology

First Advisor

Ermshar, Annette

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Level


Year Degree Awarded


Date (Title Page)




Library of Congress/MESH Subject Headings

Bronzan-McCorquodale Act; County Performance Contract; Mental Health Services Act;

Subject - Local

County Mental Health Services; Adolescent Mental Health; Adolescent Perception; National Policy Forum on Mental Health and Juvenile Justice; Gender Disparities in Mental Health



Page Count

121 p.

Digital Format


Digital Publisher

Loma Linda University Libraries

Usage Rights

This title appears here courtesy of the author, who has granted Loma Linda University a limited, non-exclusive right to make this publication available to the public. The author retains all other copyrights.


Loma Linda University Electronic Theses & Dissertations

Collection Website



Loma Linda University. Del E. Webb Memorial Library. University Archives

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Social Policy Commons