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Mental Health Assessment of Children and Adolescents. Chapter 24. Assessment Process for Children and Adolescents. Based on Standards of PMHN of Children and Adolescents (ANA, 2000) Follows same format as adults except: Children need simple phrases (more concrete).

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assessment process for children and adolescents
Assessment Process for Children and Adolescents
  • Based on Standards of PMHN of Children and Adolescents (ANA, 2000)
  • Follows same format as adults except:
    • Children need simple phrases (more concrete).
    • Corroborate information with adult
    • Direct questions, rather than open-ended
    • May use play media
    • May not be able to provide accurate time
comprehensive evaluation
Comprehensive Evaluation
  • Biopsychosocial history
  • Mental status examination
  • Additional testing as needed
  • Information from other agencies
collecting the data
Collecting the Data
  • Clinical interview – primary tool
  • Depends on developmental level of each child
  • Establish a treatment alliance.
  • Assess interactions between child and parent.
interviewing techniques
Interviewing Techniques
  • Interview child and parent separately.
  • Children provide better information about internalizing symptoms (mood, sleep, suicide ideation).
  • Parents provide better information about externalizing symptoms (behavior, relationships).
discussion with children
Discussion with Children
  • Explain the assessment process.
  • Adapt communication to child’s age.
  • Elicit any concerns the child may have.
  • Be “real” in interactions.
discussion with parents
Discussion with Parents
  • Ask for a detailed description of their view of problem.
  • Allow parents to express frustration.
  • Be non-judgmental.
building rapport
Building Rapport
  • Maintaining appropriate eye contact, speak slowly, clearly and calmly with friendliness and acceptance.
  • Use a warm, expressive tone.
  • Show interest in what is being said.
  • Make the interview a joint undertaking.
conducting the interview
Preschool children: Have difficulty putting feelings into words, thinking concrete

School-aged Children: Able to use constructs, provide longer explanations

Adolescents: are egocentric, increased self-consciousness, fear of being shamed

Use play; conduct assessment in play room.

Establish rapport through competitive games.

Let them know what information will be shared with parents. Direct, candid approach.

Conducting the Interview
biopsychosocial assessment biologic domain
Biopsychosocial Assessment:Biologic Domain
  • Thorough history of psychiatric and medical problems
  • Consider genetic vulnerability
  • Medications
  • Neurologic examination
assessment psychological domain
Assessment:Psychological Domain
  • Discussion of life changes and losses
  • Mental status
  • Developmental assessment
  • Psychosocial development
  • Language
  • Attachment
  • Temperament and behavior
  • Self-concept
  • Easy - positive mood, regular patterns, positive approaches, low emotional intensity
  • Difficult - irregular patterns, negative responses to new stimuli, slow adaptation, negative mood and high emotional intensity
  • Slow-to-warm temperament - negative, mildly emotional response to new situation, but adaptation evolves
risk assessment
Risk Assessment
  • Ask straightforward questions.
    • Have you thought about hurting yourself?
    • Have you ever acted on these thoughts?
    • How would you hurt yourself?
    • What do you think would happened?
    • Have you ever hurt yourself?
  • When a child shares information regarding an intent to commit suicide or hurt others, it must be shared with parents.
assessment social domain
Assessment: Social Domain
  • Family relationship
  • School and peer adjustment
  • Community
  • Functional status
  • Stresses and coping behaviors
developmental assessment maturation
Developmental Assessment Maturation
  • Intellectual functioning
  • Gross motor functioning
  • Fine motor function
  • Cognition
  • Thinking and perception
  • Social interaction and play