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.