Assessment of Childhood Disorders, Third Edition / Edition 3

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This volume describes cutting-edge methods and strategies for assessing a comprehensive array of childhood disorders, child health risks, and adolescent problems. Contributors highlight the ongoing interplay among behaviors, cognitions, and affects as they unfold within the young person's social network. Each chapter presents a conceptual framework for understanding the problem at hand, discusses assessment procedures that can be used to inform clinical interventions, and reviews the available empirical data. A major emphasis is placed on the family and the broader social environment, both as a context for understanding the child's strengths and weaknesses and as a focus for assessment and intervention. Also addressed are such contemporary themes as the need for developmental and cultural sensitivity in assessment, combining categorical diagnosis with dimensional classification, assessment as a decision-making process, and prevention-oriented assessments.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"As in previous editions of Assessment of Childhood Disorders, Mash and Terdal have assembled the leaders in Childhood Psychopathology for this third edition. The topics addressed in each chapter are critical ones for the changing field of childhood disorders. This volume will serve as the handbook for the assessment of disorders of children for years to come!" --Rex Forehand, Ph.D., Director, Institute for Behavioral Research; Research Professor of Psychology, The University of Georgia

"An invaluable resource and a very practical guidebook for students, clinicians and researchers." --Donald Meichenbaum, PhD, Department of Psychology, University of Waterloo

"Assessment of Childhood Disorders is an excellent addition to the literature. The book is comprehensive and timely, and offers readers a wealth of information about children's disorders. Each chapter is written by experts in their fields. All clinicians working with children will benefit from reading this book. It will also prove valuable in graduate courses in assessment and child psychopathology. The editors are to be congratulated for their work!" --Jerome M. Sattler, PhD, Psychology Department, San Diego State University

Metapsychology Online Reviews

"For almost 30 years, Assessment of Childhood Disorders has served as a guide to the tools used in clinical assessments as well as the issues....Perfect for graduate students and practicing clinicians, as well as behavioral science researchers interested in getting up to date on conditions that may relate to their own work....Much has changed since the last time the text was published (in 1997), and so those who benefited from the earlier edition would do well to update their libraries with this one."--Metapsychology Online Reviews
Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Geri R. Donenberg, PhD (Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine)
Description: The third edition of this book covers a wide array of childhood disorders including: behavioral, such as attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder; emotional and social, such as depression and anxiety; developmental and health-related, such as mental retardation and brain injury; children at risk; and problems in adolescence. Each chapter reviews clinical background, diagnostic criteria, theory, and varied assessment approaches (self reports, observational) from a behavioral systems perspective. A major focus is on the family and the broader social environment as a context for understanding child psychopathology, assessment, and intervention.
Purpose: The purpose is to provide an updated and comprehensive examination of the research literature in the conceptualization and assessment of childhood disorders. The emphasis is on assessment practices that can be used to inform clinical interventions. The editors' objectives are very important, and they accomplish their goals.
Audience: This book is written for professionals who work with children and their families, students, and clinicians in applied settings who wish to introduce new assessment procedures in their work. The book also provides a compendium of empirically supported outcome measures for clinicians who wish to evaluate treatment effects. Chapter contributors include knowledgeable and recognized experts in the field.
Features: Chapters are consistently well organized and include multiple headings for easy reading. Tables and figures supplement the text. Reference lists are extensive and recent; most citations are from the 1990s. A subject and author index is provided.
Assessment: This is an excellent resource for anyone interested in the assessment of childhood disorders. Chapters provide critical reviews of specific self-report and observational assessment techniques well-grounded in theory and based on recent empirical data. Coverage of disorders is thorough, comprehensive, and illuminating. This book is sure to become one of the definitive texts in the field.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781572305878
  • Publisher: Guilford Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 5/28/2001
  • Edition description: Third Edition
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 800
  • Product dimensions: 8.10 (w) x 7.94 (h) x 0.71 (d)

Meet the Author

Eric J. Mash, PhD, is Professor of Psychology in the Department of Psychology and Program in Clinical Psychology at the University of Calgary. He has served as an editor, editorial board member, and editorial consultant for many scientific and professional journals; and has published numerous books and journal articles.

Russell A. Barkley, PhD, ABPP, ABCN, is Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at the Medical University of South Carolina. Dr. Barkley has published numerous books and five assessment scales, plus more than 260 scientific articles and book chapters on ADHD, executive functioning, and childhood defiance. He is also the editor of the newsletter The ADHD Report. A frequent conference presenter and speaker who is widely cited in the national media, he is past president of the Section on Clinical Child Psychology (the former Division 12) of the American Psychological Association, and of the International Society for Research in Child and Adolescent Psychopathology. His website is

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Read an Excerpt

Assessment of Childhood Disorders

The Guilford Press

Copyright © 2001 The Guilford Press
All right reserved.

ISBN: 1-57230-587-8

Chapter One


Eric J. Mash Leif G. Terdal

Almost from the time of their conception, children in North American society are assessed, evaluated, and labeled with respect to their physical condition, behavior, cognitive status, educational achievement, social competence, mood, and personality. These assessments are guided by the implicit assumptions about child development and behavior held by significant others and by society. Parents, teachers, physicians, siblings, peers, and community members all participate in this ongoing process, as do the children themselves. For most children, these evaluations occur during everyday social transactions and, to a lesser degree, during periodic formal evaluations best characterized as "routine" (e.g., regular medical checkups). As a result of these assessments, some children are identified as deviating from a normal course of development with regard to their behavior, physical condition, or violation of social norms and expectations (Kagan, 1983; Mash & Dozois, 1996). When a negative valence is assigned to these deviations, a child is likely to be informally labeled as belonging to a group of children who display similar characteristics (e.g., "difficult," "shy," "overactive"). Such childrenand their families then come to the attention of society's professional assessors, who utilize special strategies to build upon the informal assessments that led to the referrals (Kamphaus, 1993; Kamphaus & Frick, 1996; Mash & Terdal, 1988a; Messick, 1983; Ollendick & Hersen, 1993b; Reynolds & Kamphaus, 1990a, 1990b; Sattler, 1992, 1997).

Although there is much agreement concerning the need for systematic assessments of children-particularly children exhibiting problems, or at risk for later problems-there has been and continues to be considerable disagreement regarding how childhood disorders should be defined; what child characteristics, adaptations, and contexts should be assessed; by whom and in what situations children should be assessed; what methods should be employed; and how the outcomes of assessments should be integrated, interpreted, and utilized. Despite such disagreement, there exists a general consensus on the need for the development of assessment strategies not as an endpoint, but rather as a prerequisite for designing and evaluating effective and efficient services for children (Mash & Terdal, 1988b). Such a functional/utilitarian approach to the assessment of children and families is a major theme underlying this volume-one that transcends many of the conceptual and methodological differences and preferences that emerge in the current discussion.

This volume describes current approaches to the behavioral-systems assessment (BSA) of child and family disorders. BSA evolved from the concepts and methods of child behavioral assessment (Bornstein, Bornstein, & Dawson, 1984; Cone, 1987; Cone & Hoier, 1986; Evans & Nelson, 1977; Nay, 1979; Nelson & Hayes, 1979; Ollendick & Hersen, 1984), and continues to embrace many of its fundamental ideas, principles, and methods (Cone, 1993; Hayes & Follette, 1993; Mash & Hunsley, 1990; Mash & Terdal, 1988b; Ollendick & Hersen, 1993a). Among these are the importance of context in assessment; the view of assessment as an ongoing process; the use of multimethod strategies, including direct observations of behavior; the use of multiple informants; an emphasis on assessment information that will lead to the design of effective interventions; the use of empirically justifiable assessment methods; and the ongoing evaluation of treatment outcomes as an integral part of the assessment process. The purpose of this introductory chapter is to present the current concepts and practices of BSA with disturbed children and families, and to discuss some of the broader issues and implications surrounding their development and use.


In the introductory chapter to the first edition of Behavioral Assessment of Childhood Disorders, we stated (Mash & Terdal, 1981b): "Recognizing the likelihood of ongoing and future changes in assessment strategies related to new empirical findings, emergent ideas, practical concerns, and shifts in the broader sociocultural milieu in which assessments are carried out, this chapter-indeed, this book-should be viewed as a working framework for understanding current behavioral approaches to the assessment of children" (p. 4).

As reflected throughout the present volume, behavioral approaches to the assessment of child and family disorders have changed dramatically over the last two decades. Some of the more notable developments are as follows:

1. An increased emphasis on incorporating developmental considerations into the design, conduct, and interpretation of assessments (Peterson, Burbach, & Chaney, 1989; Yule, 1993); into the implementation of treatments (Kendall, Lerner, & Craighead, 1984; McMahon & Peters, 1985); and into the study of child and family psychopathology more generally (e.g., Cicchetti & Cohen, 1995a, 1995b; Hersen & Ammerman, 1995; Lewis & Miller, 1990; Mash & Barkley, 1996).

2. A heightened interest in issues related to diagnosis and classification, with concomitant efforts to integrate extant diagnostic practices with BSA strategies (Barlow, 1986; Harris & Powers, 1984; Kazdin, 1983; Last & Hersen, 1989; Mash & Terdal, 1988a).

3. An elaborated view of BSA as an ongoing decision-making process (Adelman & Taylor, 1988; Evans & Meyer, 1985; Kanfer & Schefft, 1988; La Greca & Lemanek, 1996). This view has generated interest in the judgmental heuristics that influence this complex information-processing task (Evans, 1985; Kanfer, 1985: Kanfer & Busemeyer, 1982; Tabachnik & Alloy, 1988), and has spawned efforts to develop both clinically and empirically derived decision-making models for specific clinical problems and populations (Herbert, 1981; Loeber, Dishion, & Patterson, 1984; Nezu & Nezu, 1993; Sanders & Lawton, 1993).

4. A growing attention to prevention-oriented and socially relevant assessments for high-risk populations. Such attention has emanated from current social issues and concerns, such as divorce (Emery, 1982; Hetherington, Law, & O'Connor, 1993), single-parent families and stepfamilies (Santrock & Sitterle, 1987; Santrock, Sitterle, & Warshak, 1988; Stevenson, Colbert, & Roach, 1986), working mothers (Cotterell, 1986), unemployment (Kates, 1986), children in day care (Molnar, 1985), poverty (Duncan, Brooks-Gunn, & Klebanov, 1994), accidental injuries (Peterson & Brown, 1994), child abductions (Flanagan, 1986), sexual abuse (Finkelhor & Associates, 1986; Wolfe & Birt, Chapter 12, this volume), family violence (Azar, 1986; Goldstein, Keller, & Erne, 1985; Kelly, 1983; Neidig & Friedman, 1984), teen delinquency and violence (Hinshaw & Anderson, 1996), substance use problems (Vik, Brown, & Myers, Chapter 15, this volume), and adolescent suicide (Petersen & Compas, 1993).

5. An increasing emphasis on understanding the interrelated influences of child and family cognitions (Crick & Dodge, 1994), affects (Dix, 1991; Gottman & Levenson, 1986), and behavior, as assessed within the context of ongoing social interactions (e.g., Bradbury & Fincham, 1987; Gottman, Katz, & Hooven, 1996; Gottman & Levenson, 1985; Hops et al., 1987).

6. The extension and assimilation of BSA concepts and practices into health care settings (Karoly, 1985; Strosahl, 1996) within the general frameworks of behavioral-developmental pediatrics (Gross & Drabman, 1990), pediatric behavioral medicine (Hobbs, Beck, & Wansley, 1984), and pediatric psychology (La Greca, 1994; Roberts, 1995).

7. A growing recognition of the need for empirically driven theoretical models as the basis for organizing and implementing assessment strategies with children and families (Mash & Barkley, 1996; McFall, 1986; Patterson, 1986; Patterson & Bank, 1986).

8. The introduction of technological advances, including the use of computers, the Internet, and the World Wide Web (WWW) during both the data-gathering and decision-making phases of assessment (Ager, 1991; Ancill, Carr, & Rogers, 1985; Carr & Ghosh, 1983; Farrell, 1991; Romanczyk, 1986). Suggested computer and WWW applications have included collecting interview, self-monitoring, and observational data; psychophysiological recording; training; organizing, synthesizing, and analyzing behavioral assessment data; utilization review; monitoring treatment appropriateness; and supporting decision making (Dow, Kearns, & Thornton, 1996; Farrell, 1991). Technological advances have led to a heightened interest in the utility and feasibility of using actuarial models in clinical decision making (Achenbach, 1985; Dow et al., 1996; Mash, 1985; Rachman, 1983; Wiggins, 1981).

9. Conceptual and methodological convergence on an ecologically oriented systems model (Belsky, Lerner, & Spanier, 1984; Bronfenbrenner, 1986; Hartup, 1986) as the appropriate framework for organizing and understanding assessment information derived from children and families (Evans, 1985; Wasik, 1984). This has led to a heightened interest in the assessment of whole-family variables (Forman & Hagan, 1984; Holman, 1983; Mash & Johnston, 1996a; Rodick, Henggeler, & Hanson, 1986) and the relationships between family systems and the broader sociocultural milieu (Barling, 1986; Dunst & Trivette, 1985, 1986; Parke, MacDonald, Beital, & Bhavnagri, 1988).

10. Increased recognition of the growing cultural diversity in North America and the need to consider culture, ethnicity, and religious beliefs in the assessment and treatment of children and families (Forehand & Kotchick, 1996; Foster & Martinez, 1995; Rowan, 1996; Tharp, 1991).

11. Further attention to accountability in assessment and to the development of cost-effective assessment strategies (Hayes, 1996; Hayes, Follette, Dawes, & Grady, 1995). Such attention has been fueled by the growing concern for reducing costs within changing health care systems (Mash & Hunsley, 1993a; Strosahl, 1994).

12. Increased emphasis on the evaluation functions of behavioral assessment in light of a growing concern for empirically validated treatments (Hibbs & Jensen, 1996). This concern has focused attention on the need to develop meaningful and practical outcome measures for use in clinical practice (Clement, 1996; Mash & Hunsley, 1993b; Nelson-Gray, 1996; Ogles, Lambert, & Masters, 1996), and to develop methods for the analysis of change (Gottman, 1995; Gottman & Rush, 1993).

It is apparent from this brief and selective overview of recent developments that current behavioral-systems approaches to child and family assessment are complex and varied. These approaches are best conceptualized within a broad assessment framework that examines a child's functioning in the context of the social systems and decisional processes in which the child and family are typically embedded. The current view of BSA extends well beyond earlier views of child behavior assessment as being synonymous with the direct observation of target behaviors.


Excerpted from Assessment of Childhood Disorders Copyright © 2001 by The Guilford Press. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

I. Introduction
1. Assessment of Child and Family Disturbance: A Behavioral-Systems Approach, Eric J. Mash and Leif G. Terdal
II. Behavior Disorders
2. Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder, Russell A. Barkley
3. Oppositional and Conduct Disorders, Robert J. McMahon and Annette K. Estes
III. Emotional and Social Disorders
4. Depression in Children and Adolescents, Bruce E. Compas
5. Fears and Anxieties, Billy A. Barrios and Donald P. Hartmann
6. Social Relationship Deficits, Karen L. Bierman and Janet A. Welsh
IV. Developmental and Health-Related Disorders
7. Mental Retardation, Benjamin L. Handen
8. Autistic Disorder, Crighton Newsoma nd Christine A. Hovanitz
9. Children with Brain Injury, Jack M. Fletcher and H. Gerry Taylor
10. Health-Related Disorders, Suzanne Bennett Johnson and James R. Rodrigue
V. Children at Risk
11. Child Physical Abuse and Neglect, David A. Wolfe and Andrea McEachran
12. Child Sexual Abuse, Vicky Veitch Wolfe and Jo-Ann Birt
VI. Problems of Adolescence
13. Family Conflict and Communication in Adolescence, Sharon L. Foster and Arthur L. Robin
14. Anorexia Nervosa and Bulimia Nervosa, John P. Foreyt and Carmen Mikhail
15. Adolescent Substance Use Problems, Peter W. Vik, Sandra A. Brown, and Mark G. Myers
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