Serving the Underserved: Cultural Considerations in Behavioral Health Integration in Pediatric Primary Care

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The pediatric primary care setting has been put forth as an ideal context in which to improve access to behavioral health services for racial and ethnic minority youth. To fully actualize the potential for integrated health in pediatric primary care settings to appropriately address disparities in health care, additional focus on cultural competence in working with underserved populations by psychologists is needed. This article seeks to contribute to the efforts of psychologists in pediatric primary care in addressing the needs of underserved, racial and ethnic minority youth. Subsequent to a discussion of culture and cultural competence at the provider level, we review particular areas of focus as they relate to cultural competence for the psychologist embedded in pediatric primary care settings. Specifically, we highlight 2 areas: (a) treatment engagement, including help-seeking behaviors and stigma, and (b) use of culturally informed interventions, including cultural adaptations and use of transdiagnostic or modularized treatments, that are especially relevant for psychologists working within primary care. We conclude by providing recommendations for practice for the psychologist working within pediatric primary care settings.

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