Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science




Dr. Graham Reid


Background: Dropout from children’s mental health services has negative impacts on children, families and community mental health agencies. In order to reduce dropout, it is essential to correctly define individuals as treatment dropouts, and understand the predictors of dropout. Methods: Manuscript 1 describes the development of a novel need-based definition of dropout and contrasts this definition to existing definitions of dropout in the literature. Manuscript 2 uses the need-based definition to examine predictors of dropout, and compares predictors of dropout using different definitions of dropout. Results: The need-based definition categorizes individuals differently from existing definitions of dropout. Caregiver needs are a consistent predictor of dropout across the need-based definition and existing definitions of dropout in the literature. Conclusions: The need-based definition is a valuable method for categorizing individuals as dropouts or completers. It suggests families that can be targeted with engagement interventions to reduce dropout from children’s mental health services.