Drawings in Clinical Assessment of Children and Adolescents

Authored by: Holly C. Matto

The Clinical Assessment of Children and Adolescents: A Practitioner’s Handbook

Print publication date:  August  2006
Online publication date:  September  2015

Print ISBN: 9780805857917
eBook ISBN: 9781315827308
Adobe ISBN: 9781317843474


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Good assessment is the cornerstone of mental health services delivery. Mental health clinicians are charged with providing reliable and valid assessment of their clients in order to make ethical and responsible treatment recommendations that competently meet the clinical needs of their client population. Comprehensive data integration is an essential part of good assessment practice, but clinicians must make assessment decisions based on the assessment resources available, while being responsive to their clients’ abilities to impart the clinical information solicited. Given the importance and complexity of good assessment, there are several assessment-related questions that continue to challenge clinicians:

Are our assessment practices sufficiently clinically comprehensive? That is to say, do they include opportunities to assess all of the relevant clinical domains important to understanding a specific case?

Are our assessment practices sufficiently methodologically comprehensive? That is to say, do our assessment tools include the range of methods needed to gather the clinical information we need?

Are our assessment practices culturally competent and developmentally appropriate? That is to say, are we tailoring our assessment practices to match the needs of our diverse client populations to reduce the risk of making inaccurate or invalid clinical judgments that have unintended negative consequences for certain groups of youth? And, are our assessment practices congruent with the developmental strengths and limitations of our clients?

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