The Association of School Climate, Depression Literacy, and Mental Health Stigma among High School Students

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  • Additional Information
    • Peer Reviewed:
      Y
    • Physical Description:
      8
    • Sponsoring Agency:
      Institute of Education Sciences (ED)
      National Institute of Mental Health (DHHS/NIH)
    • Contract Number:
      R305A150221
      R01MH095855
    • Education Level:
      High Schools
      Secondary Education
      Grade 9
      Junior High Schools
      Middle Schools
      Grade 10
    • Geographic Terms:
      Maryland
    • Accession Number:
      10.1111/josh.12527
    • Abstract:
      Background: Although school climate is linked with youth educational, socioemotional, behavioral, and health outcomes, there has been limited research on the association between school climate and mental health education efforts. This study explored whether school climate was associated with students' depression literacy and mental health stigma beliefs. Methods: Data were combined from two studies: the Maryland Safe Supportive Schools Project and a randomized controlled trial of the Adolescent Depression Awareness Program. Five high schools participated in both studies, allowing examination of depression literacy and stigma measures from 500 ninth and tenth graders. Multilevel models examined the relationship between school-level school climate characteristics and student-level depression literacy and mental health stigma scores. Results: Overall school climate was positively associated with depression literacy (OR= 2.78, p<0.001) and negatively associated with stigma (Est.=-3.822, p=0.001). Subscales of engagement (OR= 5.30, p<0.001) and environment were positively associated with depression literacy (OR= 2.01, p<0.001) and negatively associated with stigma (Est.=-6.610, p<0.001), (Est.=-2.742, p<0.001). Conclusions: Positive school climate was associated with greater odds of depression literacy and endorsement of fewer stigmatizing beliefs among students. Our findings raise awareness regarding aspects of the school environment that may facilitate or inhibit students' recognition of depression and subsequent treatment-seeking. [This is a post-peer-review, pre-copyedit version of an article published in "Journal of School Health." For the published version of this article, see EJ1147403.]
    • Abstract:
      As Provided
    • IES Funded:
      Yes
    • Publication Date:
      2017
    • Accession Number:
      ED586841