Research :: Health Insurance Access and Counseling Receipt and Their Association With Later Depressive and Suicidal Symptoms

This research brief by Child Trends (created through a partnership with NAHIC) analyzes panel data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent Health, which was conducted in three waves of interviews, for 9,996 adolescents to assess whether the receipt of supportive (psychological or emotional) counseling and access to health insurance is related to the persistence of adolescent depression and/or suicidality into young adulthood.

Mental health disorders that begin in adolescence often –though not always – persist into early adulthood. The continuity of mental health problems may reflect biological and genetic origins and/or ongoing social and personal challenges or reflect low use of mental health services in adolescence and young adulthood. Research examining factors related to low service use has identified the inability to pay for services as one of several causes.  Results of this study indicate that teens reporting symptoms of depression or suicidality in adolescence are 2.8 times more likely to report these symptoms in young adulthood than teens who did not report symptoms in adolescence.

Download the PDF:
Health Insurance Access and Counseling Receipt and Their Association With Later Depressive and Suicidal Symptoms




Access & Utilization, Depression, Mental/Behavioral Health, Suicide


November 30, 2012


Mary A. Terzian, Ph.D., Kristin A. Moore, Ph.D., Tawana Bandy, B.S., and Kelly Bell, B.A.


Medical Home for Adolescents: Low Attainment Rates for Those With Mental Health Problems and Other Vulnerable Groups

This 2012 study by researchers in the Division of Adolescent and Young Adult Medicine examined the current rates of medical home attainment for adolescents.

Mental/Behavioral Health | Mental/Behavioral Health Care | Socio-demographic disparities | Special Populations

Adolescent Health Insurance Coverage: Recent Changes and Access to Care

This 1999 article assesses the health insurance status of adolescents, the trends in adolescent health care coverage, the demographic and socioeconomic correlates of insurance coverage, and the role that insurance coverage plays in influencing access to and use of health care.

Access & Utilization | Socio-demographic disparities | Trends

America’s Adolescents: Are They Healthy?

This 2003 article compares prevalence estimates of adolescents’ cigarette, alcohol and marijuana use from one Australian and two U.S. surveys, and considers the effect of methodological differences on reported use.

Mental/Behavioral Health | Mental/Behavioral Health Care | Mortality | Overviews/Fact Sheets | Risky Behavior | Socio-demographic disparities | Special Populations | Substance Use | Suicide | Young Adults

Access is a Prerequisite to Quality: Can Children Who Need Specialty Health Care Get in the Door?

A video of Dr. Karin Rhodes’ presentation at the Philip R. Lee Institute for Health Policy Studies, recorded September 13, 2012.

Access & Utilization | Provider Training & Education | Socio-demographic disparities

Use of Mental Health Counseling as Adolescents Become Young Adults

This 2008 article uses AddHealth data to compare rates of mental health counseling use between adolescents and young adults.

Mental/Behavioral Health | Transitions & Trajectories | Young Adults