A Comparison of Child Mental Health Systems in France and the United States
Cecile Delamare and Patricia Ibeziako
Affiliation: Saint-Etienne University Hospital, Hopital Nord, Department of Child and Adolescent Psychopathology, 42055 Saint-Etienne Cedex 2, France.
Background and objectives: Economic conditions, policies, family environment and cultural models of parenting
all impact a child’s well- being and development. Differing theoretical orientations in mental health between countries
govern the respective under standing, assessment, and treatment of children and their families. Method: This paper provides
an overview and critical examination of child mental health care systems in North America and Europe using the
United States (US) and France as comparisons. Results: France has a national policy of universal access to health care; in
the US access is determined largely by insurance companies and varies from state to state. Conclusions: By examining the
similarities and differences between health care systems, mental health providers, training, diagnosis and treatment approaches
in this cross-national comparison, much can be learned about developing effective practices to improve health
care delivery worldwide.
Keywords: Cross-cultural comparisons, France, USA, children, adolescents, mental health
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