Nursing ETDs

Publication Date

Spring 4-15-2019



Low-income adolescent males are subject to both health and educational inequities. Male adolescents are the least likely of all pediatric age and gender groups to access either primary care or behavioral health services. This same population is most likely to not complete high school or college. Health and educational outcomes are both affected by social determinants. School-based Health Centers (SBHCs) are known for providing access to primary care and behavioral health services for low-income and vulnerable populations. The purpose of this qualitative descriptive study was to identify themes from one-on-one semi-structured qualitative interviews with behavioral health providers, who provide services to low-income adolescent males in SBHCs in high schools in New Mexico, in order to learn the providers’ perspectives on how behavioral health services may impact adolescent males academically. Another purpose was to identify providers’ stories for policy messaging. Seventeen behavioral health providers from SBHCs across New Mexico were interviewed and data from those interviews was analyzed using content, thematic, and narrative analyses. Providers described seeing adolescent males for behavioral health diagnoses, post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, anxiety, substance abuse and adverse life events. Many providers attributed adolescents’ behaviors to family conflict and trauma. Providers described masculinity norms, at home and at school, as barriers to accessing behavioral health services and academic achievement. Additional themes included lack of school resources and unfavorable school environments; trusting relationships with behavioral health providers and safe space provided by SBHCs. When asked what they would say if they were advocating for policy related to behavioral health services, providers shared long stories to explain students’ lives and provide context. Clinical implications include the need for more gender-based approaches as well as trauma informed schools and SBHCs. Further research that includes voices of adolescent males is needed as well as more quantitative data that helps to further illuminate the protective factors that SBHCs provide to students. More collaboration is needed between all social services such as housing, Children Youth and Families, and transportation, that touch the lives of students and families in New Mexico, in particular the health and educational systems.

Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

College of Nursing

First Committee Member (Chair)

Dr Tigges

Second Committee Member

Dr Welle

Third Committee Member

Dr Averril

Fourth Committee Member

Dr Kong


Adolescent Males behavioral health SBHC



Document Type



Qualitative Descriptive Study of interviews with behavioral health providers in SBHCs in New Mexico about Adolescent Males and educational outcomes