Academic, Psychosocial, and Demographic Correlates of School-based Health Center Utilization: Patterns by Service Type

Document Type


Publication Date


Organizational Units

Graduate School of Social Work



Despite the promise of school-based health centers (SBHCs) as crucial source of mental health care for youth, accumulated literature describing how SBHCs are typically arranged, patterns of service utilization, and, ultimately, effects of services delivered through SBHCs is limited.


This study’s aim was as disentangle the types of services provided into determine unique predictors of service use with the overall goals of making an incremental step towards understanding SBHC intervention effects and implementation challenges.


This study used student-level administrative and survey data to examine academic, psychosocial, and demographic correlates of SBHC utilization by type of service (i.e., medical services, general counseling, and behavioral health counseling). The sample includes all students from one high school with a SBHC in a large urban district (n = 658). Logistic regression models were used to identify factors that uniquely contributed to service use.


The strongest predictors of SBHC utilization overall were race, special education participation, and GPA. With regard to behavioral health services, demographic background (i.e. Black and Latino), special education participation, and violence victimization or perpetration predicted use. With regard to general counseling, being female was the strongest predictor of service use. For medical services, age and special education participation predicted use.


Heterogeneous student characteristics (e.g., demographic, academic, and psychosocial) are related to utilization of school-based health and mental health services. Future research must address the student characteristics that predict service use in order to minimize selection bias which may skew the results intended to document the impact of SBHCs on student outcomes.

Compass Link


Publication Statement

Copyright held by author or publisher. User is responsible for all copyright compliance.

This document is currently not available here.