Evidence-Based Practice with Emotionally Troubled Children and AdolescentsBy
- Morley Glicken, Department of Social Work, Arizona State University West, Phoenix, AZ, USA
At a time when increasing numbers of children are being treated for emotional problems, naming and treating those problems remains more of an art than a science often leaving children and their parents to navigate a confusing path.
One reason for this uncertainty is that we have few objective ways of assessing a child's emotional difficulties other than judgments based on interviews and checklists of symptoms. Unlike most adults, however, young children are often unable or unwilling to talk about their symptoms, leaving mental health professionals to rely on observation and information from parents and teachers that may be incorrect or biased.
Furthermore, children develop so quickly that what looks like attention deficit disorder in the fall may look like anxiety or nothing at all in the summer. Although the mental health field has made great strides in helping children manage mental illness, particularly moderate conditions, the system of diagnosis is still '200 to 300 years behind other branches of medicine,' according Dr. E. Jane Costello, a professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences at Duke University. Dr. Costello and other experts believe that the search for a diagnosis is often a process of trial and error that may end with serious errors in diagnosis and treatment.
According to government surveys at least six million American children have difficulties that are diagnosed as serious mental disorders, a number that has tripled since the early 1990s even though one of the largest continuing surveys of mental illness in children, tracking 4,500 children ages 9 to 13, found no cases of full-blown bi-polar disorder and only a few children with the mild flights of excessive energy that could be considered nascent bipolar disorder. Moreover, the symptoms diagnosed as serious emotional problems in children often bear little resemblance to those in adults. Instead, children's moods often flip on and off throughout the day, and their upswings often look more like extreme agitation than bi-polar disorder.
The confusion over accurate diagnosis and treatment leaves parents with very difficult children virtually alone and confused by the conflicting signals given by doctors and other mental health professionals. If parents are lucky, they may find a specialist who listens carefully and has the sensitivity to understand their child and their family. In dozens of interviews conducted by the author, however, parents of troubled children said that they had searched for months and sometimes years to find the right therapist.
The advantage of EBP, according to Hines, is that it allows the practitioner to develop quality practice guidelines that can be applied to the client, identify appropriate literature that can be shared with the client, communicate with other professionals from a knowledge-guided frame of reference and, continue a process of self-learning that results in the best possible treatment for clients.
focusing on the most current research and best evidence regarding assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of children and adolescents with a range of emotional problems including, but not limited to: ADHD; Bi-Polar Disorder; anxiety and depression; eating disorders; Autism; Aspirgers Syndrome; substance abuse; social isolation; school related problems including underachievement; sexual acting out; Oppositional Defiant and Conduct Disorders; Childhood Schizophrenia; Gender Issues; Prolonged Grief; gang involvement; and a number of other problems experienced by children and adolescents.
Because concrete research evidence is often not used as the basis for practice with children and adolescents, and the next edition in the DSM series, which promises more information about children isn't due until 2011, this book provides a timely guide for practitioners, students, mental health professionals, and parents to a research-oriented approach for understanding and helping children experiencing emotional difficulties and their families.
particularly in populations where there has been a dramatic increase in troubled youth such as autism and substance abuse.
The problems discussed in the book range from more common problems such as underachievement and parents who fail to supervise or provide effective role models to much more serious problems including Bi-Polar Disorder, Borderline Personality Disorder, and children traumatized by sexual abuse, violence, and neglect.
Practicing clinicians, social workers and school counselors working with children and adolescents.
Supplemental reading for graduate students in clinical, counseling, social work, and human services programs.
Hardbound, 664 Pages
Published: February 2009
Imprint: Academic Press
- Part I: The Current State of Practice with Children and Adolescents1: The Current State of Practice with Children and AdolescentsPart II: The Core Beliefs of Evidence-Based Practice 2: An Explanation of Evidence-Based Practice 3: A Simple Guide to Reading and Understanding Practice Research 4: The Importance of Critical Thinking in Evidence-Based Practice with Children and Adolescents5: Locating Relevant Clinical Research on Children and AdolescentsPart III: How EBP Views Diagnosis, Assessment and Worker-Client Relationships6: Using Evidence-Based Practice in Diagnosis 7: A Psycho-Social Assessments Using Evidence Based Practice8: Evidence-Based Practice and the Client-Worker Relationship Part IV: Evidence Based Practice With Special Problems of Children and Adolescents9: Evidence-Based Practice with School-Related Problems10: Evidence-Based Practice with Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)11: Evidence-Based Practice and Children and Adolescents Experiencing Social Isolation, Loneliness, and Aspirgers Syndrome12: Evidence-Based Practice and Children Experiencing Physical and Sexual Abuse and Neglect13: Evidence-Based Practice with Depression and Suicidal Inclinations14: Evidence-Based Practice with Anxiety Disorders and OCD15: Evidence-Based Practice and Eating Disorders16: Evidence-Based Practice with Serious and Terminal Illness, Disabilities, and Prolonged Bereavement17: Evidence-Based Practice and Gender Issues18: Evidence-Based Practice with Developmental Problems19: Evidence-Based Practice with Children Suffering from Autism20: Evidence-Based Practice with Oppositional Defiant Disorders and Conduct Disorders 21: Evidence-Based Practice with Children and Adolescents who Abuse Substances22: Evidence-Based Practice and Sexual Acting Out23: Evidence-Based Practice and Children and Adolescents with Borderline Personality Disorder24: Evidence-Based Practice with Bi-Polar Disorder and other Serious Problems Suggesting Mental IllnessPart V: Evidence-Based Practice and Alternative Approaches to Helping25: Evidence-Based Practice and the Significance of Religion and Spirituality26: Evidence-Based Practice and the Effectiveness of Indigenous Helpers and Self-Help Groups 27: The Importance of Resilience and Self-Righting in work with Children and AdolescentsPart VI: Evidence Based Practice and Future Trends, Social Involvement, and Final Words28: The Future of Clinical Work with Children and Adolescents