By Stephanie H. McConaughy
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Extra info for Clinical Interviews for Children and Adolescents: Assessment to Intervention
They also add “how” to this list. Although elementary-age children are often asked “why” questions, they may have difficulty answering them when the focus is on the reasons for their own behavior or for other people’s behavior. Motivation for behavior is an abstract concept that is hard for 6- to 11-year-olds to understand and articulate because they have difficulty taking a third-person point of view to explain human interactions. Instead, they tend to focus more on actions and event sequences than on the motives behind the actions.
You should also be mindful of adolescents’ developmental level when applying clinical diagnoses. A lack of normative standards for diagnoses is one of the shortcomings of the DSM-IV and its precursors. Although some adult DSM-IV diagnostic categories may be appropriate for adolescents, you should still use caution in applying such diagnoses. For example, just because an adolescent displays emotional lability in the clinical interview, you should not assume that this lability is strong evidence for a mood disorder, such as major depression or bipolar disorder.
Or they may be attempting to deny memories and feelings of painful or embarrassing situations. Or they may want to impress the interviewer or gain a desired outcome or advantage. ”). You should also avoid asking leading questions about children’s misbehavior when you already know the answer from another source, such as a parent or a teacher. An example is asking a child whether he stole money from a teacher’s desk, knowing that the teacher reported witnessing such a theft. Young children may also appear to lie because they have difficulty distinguishing fantasy from reality or feelings from actual behavior, or they have difficulty expressing such distinctions in words.