A strong focus in both core areas of research is on mental health care for children and adolescents from diverse populations. Both research cores specifically emphasize the importance of understanding the kinds of services delivered to and received by diverse populations, and the need to ensure that mental health services are effective across populations.
Three Areas of Diversity
CASRC investigators use the term "diverse populations" to signify diversity in three areas.
- Diversity in racial, ethnic and cultural background
- Diversity in family structure and living environment (such as biological, foster, or relative parent homes, or single vs. dual head of household families)
- Diversity in youth and family public service sectors that provide care for children and adolescents.
Research studies within CASRC are based on the assumption that these three, often cross-cutting areas of diversity are especially important to understanding service delivery patterns, and also to mounting effective service delivery programs. For mental health services to be effective in community settings, they must respond appropriately to diversity in the populations receiving services.
Examining Care For Diverse Populations
The CASRC core research program on Examining Care for Diverse Populations focuses on clinical epidemiology in practice research. Clinical epidemiology seeks to understand how and which treatments or services are provided to individuals within service systems, namely the study of patterns of service utilization and treatment processes.
An important component of this core is service systems research, which addresses large-scale organizational, financing, and policy questions such as the effect of public legislation, regulation, and other public policies on the organization and delivery of services, and the effect that changes in a system have on the delivery of services. Another component characterizes current treatment processes and outcomes.
Improving Care For Diverse Populations
The core research program on Improving Care for Diverse Populations focuses on two areas of practice research.
- Quality of care research, which works on establishing and testing standards of care.
- Dissemination and implementation research, which evaluates methods by which appropriate interventions are introduced and adopted in clinical practice.
We believe that practice research is an extension of effectiveness research, which asks whether efficacious treatments can have a measurable, beneficial effect when implemented across broad populations and in "real-world settings". This core employs experimental and quasi-experimental studies to test strategies for improving practice and service delivery.