4. Assessing & Treating Children's Problems
Describe the purpose of psychological assessment and the importance of including information from multiple informants using multiple methods.
Understand the basic techniques used to assess children’s behavioral, cognitive, and social– emotional functioning.
Explain the importance of standardization, reliability, and validity in psychological testing.
Systems of Psychotherapy
Differentiate the major systems of psychotherapy and the way evidence-based treatment can be adapted to meet families’ social–cultural backgrounds.
The Efficacy & Effectiveness of Child Psychotherapy
Evaluate the efficacy and effectiveness of therapy for children and families.
Note: The number before each objective shows its corresponding module in the text.
In this excellent video, Dr. Paul Frick (University of New Orleans) discusses the importance of evidence-based assessment for youths at risk for mental health problems.
Assessment Vignette 1
Shawn is a 16-year-old boy referred for a mental health evaluation. What does his psychologist do to increase Shawn's motivation to participate in the assessment?
Assessment Vignette 2
Tony is a 15-year-old boy who was referred to a social worker by his pediatrician because of problems with depression. How does the social worker begin to assess Tony's symptoms?
Cultural Formulation Interview
The text describes how clinicians can use the cultural formulation interview to gather information about problems from the family's social-cultural perspective. Watch this video to see how the interview is used in practice.
Theories of Psychotherapy
In this simulated therapy session, an adolescent describes her problem with social anxiety. How might a psychologist use the different systems of psychotherapy described in the textbook to help her?
Helping Give Away Psychological Science (HGAPS) is a student-based organization that is dedicated to providing the best information about psychological science to the public. A great place to learn about psychological assessment (for adults & children) is their Assessment Center. You can complete the questionnaires and rating scales yourself, explore the site for child/adolescent assessment, of visit the "For Clinicians" site to see all of the tests available. There are also assessment vignettes to explore.
Effective Child Therapy is Maintained by the Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology (APA Division 53). It's the single best site to visit if you want information about evidence-based psychosocial treatment for children, adolescents, and families.
The AACAP provides a wonderful site for families about mental health problems in children and adolescents. This site is a great resource if you want to learn about the evidence-based use of medications to treat youths with specific problems. You can search by each disorder and see what the AACAP recommends as "best practice" for that condition.
The WISC-V is the most widely used intelligence test for children in the United States. Note: This is a sample report and it does not reflect the responses of an actual client.
The ABAS-3 is a norm-referenced measure of adaptive behavior. It is often completed by parents about children suspected of Intellectual Disability. Note: This is a sample report and it does not reflect the responses of an actual client.
The BASC-3 is a widely-used child behavior rating scale that can be completed by multiple informants (e.g., parents, teachers). At this site, you can see a sample report that combines data from multiple informants. Note: This is a sample report and it does not reflect the responses of an actual client.
The MMPI-A-RF is often used to assess adolescents for behavioral and social-emotional problems. This site provides a sample report that allows you to see how a clinician might interpret elevations on the various clinical scales. Note: This is a sample report and it does not reflect the responses of an actual client.