Working With Children and Adolescents Versus Adults Sample Essay

Working With Children and Adolescents Versus Adults Sample Essay

Explain why a developmental assessment of children and adolescents is important.
Describe two assessment instruments and explain why they are used for children and adolescents but not adults.
Describe two treatment options for children and adolescents that may not be used when treating adults.
Explain the role parents play in assessment and treatment


Importance Of Developmental Assessments Of Children And Adolescents

Developmental assessments of pediatric clients form a vital part of holistic care which is a major goal of psychiatric nursing. When conducting psychiatric evaluations, developmental assessments are used to gauge the likelihood of any deviations from normal development physically, psycho-sexually, socially or emotionally (American Psychiatric Association, 2013).  Based on the outcomes of an assessment, mental health practitioners can institute early interventions for any deviations noted. Developmental assessments are also essential since some adolescents and children can present in clinical settings with behaviors consistent with disabilities in development (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). Working With Children and Adolescents Versus Adults Sample Essay. By using these assessments, mental health practitioners can determine whether such disability is as a result of trauma, environmental factors or genetics. When identified early, the right referrals can be made to promote a child’s development and well-being.

Assessment Instruments For Adolescents and Children

            The use of assessments instruments in adult and pediatric populations is vital in ensuring that the criterion for a specific diagnosis has been met. Generally, the most commonly used instruments for diagnoses are questionnaires and interviews (Sadock, Sadock & Ruiz, 2014). However, there exists a huge difference between the assessment instruments used for adults and pediatric clients. This is attributed to the fact that the details captured in pediatric assessments are obtained from additional sources such as caregivers, parents, and teachers other than just the pediatric client. Assessment instruments used for pediatric clients should be simple, brief, specific and sensitive. Assessment instruments that are specifically used for pediatric clients and cannot be used for adult patients are the National Institute of Mental Health Interview Schedule for Children Version IV and Dominic-R (Hargrave & Arthur, 2015). The former can be used in clinical settings with children between 6-17 years in either a parent or child format. The child format is suitable for children aged 9-17 years of age which the parental format can be used for pediatric clients aged 6-17 years old(Sadock, Sadock & Ruiz, 2014). On the other hand, the Dominic-R assessment instrument uses the images of a child named Dominic to depict several symptoms and can be used for children aged 6-11 years. Even though the behavioral and emotional content it illustrates is based on DSM-III-R, these details can be incorporated with the clinical details of the DSM-IV. Working With Children and Adolescents Versus Adults Sample Essay.

Treatment Options For Adolescents and Children

            Play therapy has proven to be a highly effective and successful treatment option among pediatric patients with ADHD, depression, and PTSD. This form of therapy utilizes a play model that is nondirective to promote an environment that is safe and enhances the growth of a child (Blanco et al., 2015). Working With Children and Adolescents Versus Adults Sample Essay. The other treatment option used for children and adolescents is trauma-focused cognitive behavioral therapy. According to de Arellano, et al., (2014), trauma-focused CBT is a preferred empiric treatment model for pediatric clients who have undergone some form of trauma.

Parent’s Role In Assessment and Treatment

            Adolescents and children are heavily reliant on the participation of direct caregivers and parents in care for more successful health outcomes. Parents are relied on by clinicians to obtain exact information on the symptoms that a child presents with, past medical, surgical, psychosocial and family history (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). It is also worth mentioning that, rarely do children or adolescents initiate psychiatric evaluations. Therefore, to comprehensively understand the reasons for evaluation, clinicians can only collect information through interviews with caregivers or parent. However, information shared by children or adolescents should not be ignored since they tend to understand their concerns, thoughts, and feelings better. Working With Children and Adolescents Versus Adults Sample Essay.



American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (5th ed.). Washington, DC: Author.

Blanco, P. J., Muro, J. H., Holliman, R., Stickley, V. K., & Carter, K. (2015). Effect of child-centered play therapy on performance anxiety and academic achievement. Journal of Child and Adolescent Counseling, 1(2), 66-80.

Hargrave, T. M., & Arthur, M. E. (2015). Teaching child psychiatric assessment skills: Using pediatric mental health screening tools. International Journal of Psychiatry in Medicine, 50(1), 60-72.

Sadock, B.J., Sadock, V.A., & Ruiz, P. (2014). Kaplan & Sadock’s synopsis of psychiatry: Behavioral sciences/clinical psychiatry (11th ed.). Philadelphia, PA: Wolters Kluwer.

de Arellano, M. A. R., Lyman, D. R., Jobe-Shields, L., George, P., Dougherty, R. H., Daniels, A. S., & Delphin-Rittmon, M. E. (2014). Trauma-focused cognitive-behavioral therapy for children and adolescents: Assessing the evidence. Psychiatric Services, 65(5), 591-602. Working With Children and Adolescents Versus Adults Sample Essay

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