Mental health services for preschool children in primary care: A survey of maternal attitudes and beliefs

Michelle D. Harwood, Kelly A. O'Brien, Carolyn G. Carter, Sheila M. Eyberg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

23 Scopus citations


Objective This study examined maternal attitudes and practices that may prevent preschoolers from receiving needed mental health services.MethodsMothers of 110 children ages 36 completed a survey of maternal attitudes and practices and the Eyberg Child Behavior Inventory (ECBI).ResultsMothers wanted pediatrician assistance with child behavior concerns. Mothers of children with elevated ECBI scores reported most often discussing disruptive behaviors with their pediatrician, and preferred clinician-provided services, whereas mothers of children with normal range ECBI scores most often discussed developmental issues with the pediatrician and preferred parenting help from handouts and books. Mothers reported receiving clinician-provided services almost never.ConclusionsMothers were open to psychosocial services for child behavior problems, particularly via primary care, and ratings of barriers were relatively low despite reporting infrequent service use. Mothers' responses highlight the need for mental health providers in primary care to ensure accessibility of desired services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)760-768
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of pediatric psychology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Aug 2009

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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