Divorce is a lengthy developmental process and, in the case of children and adolescents, one that can encompass most of their young lives. This chapter explores the experience of divorce from the perspective of the children, reviews the evidence base and empirical support for interventions. It provides examples of three evidence-based intervention programs, namely, Children in Between, Children of Divorce Intervention Program (CODIP), and New Beginnings, appropriate for use with children, adolescents, and their parents. Promoting protective factors and limiting risk factors during childhood and adolescence can prevent many mental, emotional, and behavioral problems and disorders during those years and into adulthood. The Children in Between program is listed on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices. The CODIP and the New Beginnings program are also listed on the SAMHSA National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices.
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Children and youth with serious emotional, behavioral, and social difficulties present challenges for teachers, parents, and peers. Youth who are at risk for emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD) are particularly vulnerable in the areas of peer and adult social relationships. The emphasis on meeting academic standards and outcomes for children and youth in schools has unfortunately pushed the topic of social-emotional development to the proverbial back burner. This chapter emphasizes that social skills might be considered academic enablers because these positive social behaviors predict short-term and long-term academic achievement. Evidence-based practices are employed with the goal of preventing or ameliorating the effects of disruptive behavior disorders (DBD) in children and youth. An important distinction in designing and delivering social skills interventions (SSI) is differentiating between different types of social skills deficits. Social skills deficits may be either acquisition deficits or performance deficits.
Eating disorders (EDs) are a complex and comparatively dangerous set of mental disorders that deeply affect the quality of life and well-being of the child or adolescent who is struggling with this problem as well as those who love and care for him or her. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) outlines specific criteria for the diagnosis of anorexia nervosa (AN), bulimia nervosa (BN), binge eating disorder (BED), and other specified feeding or ED. Treatment of eating disordered behavior typically involves a three-facet approach: medical assessment and monitoring, nutritional counseling, and psychological and behavioral treatment. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) are also evidence-based approaches to treatment for AN. The treatment of EDs should be viewed as a team effort that integrates medical, nutritional, and mental health service providers.
- Go to chapter: Evidence-Based Interventions for Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder in Children and Adolescents
The content of the obsessions and compulsions varies among individuals with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD); however, there are five themes that are commonly experienced across both children and adults: contamination, symmetry/ordering, forbidden or taboo thoughts, harm, and hoarding. Notably, OCD becomes more gender balanced into adolescence and adulthood. Comorbid diagnoses are common among youth with OCD. Common comorbid disorders include anxiety disorders, tic disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), and major depressive disorder. The etiology of OCD is multidetermined with behavioral, cognitive, genetic, and biological factors being implicated. This chapter describes three successful cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) interventions: CBT with exposure and response prevention (ERP), family-based CBT with ERP, and cognitive therapy interventions that can be used in conjunction with ERP. Treatment guidelines for pediatric OCD suggest the most efficacious treatment is CBT with ERP, either alone or in combination with pharmaco-therapy for the most severe cases.
In 2013, 42% of fourth-grade students and 36% of eighth-grade students in the United States (US) performed at the proficient or advanced level on the mathematics National Assessment Educational Progress (NAEP) assessments, indicating that more than half of students at these grades are performing below proficient levels in math. Prevalence rates of math disabilities (MD) are difficult to estimate. More than 2 million school-aged children in the US are identified as having specific learning disability (SLD). There are three primary models for determination of an SLD in the US: IQ-achievement discrepancy, patterns of strengths and weaknesses (PSW), and Responsiveness-to-Intervention (RTI). Children with a math disability or comorbid math/reading disability are also more likely to meet criteria for a variety of internalizing and externalizing disorders such as oppositional defiant disorder (ODD), conduct disorder (CD), generalized anxiety disorder, and depression. Schema-based strategy instruction is an evidence-based procedure to improve achievement in math.
- Go to chapter: Evidence-Based Interventions for Children and Adolescents With Emotional and Behavioral Disorders
Treating emotional and behavioral disorders in children and adolescents is a complex issue; that is, practitioners must understand children’s typical patterns of social, emotional, and cognitive development and determine what is responsible for having taken the referred child off that “normal” path. Most children identified as socially maladjusted benefit from treatment and schooling provided in alternative education classes. Social maladjustment has historically also been synonymous with the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) diagnoses of conduct disorder, antisocial personality disorder, and oppositional-defiant disorder. The diathesis-stress model is the balance between stressors and coping that accounts for the onset and continuation of mental health and other medical disorders. Three psychosocial intervention approaches are effective for all youth with conduct problems: parent training, contingency management, and cognitive behavioral skill training. As skills develop and stabilize, interpersonal intelligence and intrapersonal intelligence form emotional intelligence.
This chapter reviews the research on expect respect, second step, and the recognize, understand, label, express, and regulate emotions (RULER) program, curricula with outcome data from US schools for step-by-step implementation by mental health professionals in the hopes of ameliorating this serious epidemic and enhancing the academic, behavioral, social, and emotional functioning of children and adolescents. School bullying and peer victimization are pervasive phenomena that affect many youth. Bullying may inflict harm or distress on the targeted youth including physical, psychological, social, or educational harm. Direct bullying is a relatively open aggressive act on the targeted youth, whereas indirect bullying is not directly communicated to the student being targeted. Moreover, physical, verbal, relational, and damage to property have been identified as specific forms or dimensions of bullying. Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports (PBIS) is an evidence-based framework for reducing a wide variety of problem behavior in school settings.
Many children experience the death of someone close to them before the age of 18 years. This chapter reviews the effects of bereavement on children’s functioning and the risk and protective factors that exacerbate or mitigate grief-related problems. It provides step-by-step instructions for two evidence-based interventions for school-aged children and adolescents. Childhood traumatic grief refers to a condition in which children develop trauma-related symptoms that interfere with their ability to appropriately mourn a death. The Family Bereavement Program (FBP) is a theory-based intervention for parentally bereaved children and their surviving caregivers. The child component focuses on increasing self-esteem, reducing negative appraisals of stressful events, strengthening youths’ relationships with their caregivers, strengthening coping skills, and increasing adaptive emotional expression. The Grief and Trauma Intervention (GTI) is commonly implemented in schools and community-based settings after children’s exposure to a traumatic, violent, or disastrous event.
Conduct disorder in childhood and adolescence is considered to be a significant mental health concern because of its connection to numerous other social, emotional, and academic outcomes, both in terms of concurrent and future functioning. This chapter focuses on the examination and explanation of the treatment strategies for the conduct disorder. There are four main groupings of behavior for conduct disorder: aggressive conduct, nonaggressive conduct, deceitfulness or theft, and serious rule violations. The chapter examines the role of genetic, neurological, and environmental factors implicated in the development of conduct disorder. Psychosocial treatment programs such as multisystemic therapy (MST), functional family therapy (FFT), and multidimensional treatment foster care that combine parental management training (PMT), structural family therapies, and skill-building appear to have a moderate to large-effect size in reducing aggression and symptoms of conduct disorder.
School absenteeism refers to physical absence from school, but school refusal behavior refers more broadly to child-motivated refusal to attend school. This chapter focuses on child-motivated school refusal behavior. Youth with school refusal behavior evince substantial heterogeneity in behavioral characteristics or symptoms. This population is notably high in internalizing behavioral problems, such as general and social anxiety, fear, worry, depression, self-consciousness, fatigue, and somatic complaints. Interventions for school refusal behavior can be arranged along a multitiered system similar to a Response to Intervention (RtI) model. RtI involves problem-solving-based interventions that focus on prevention, early intervention for emerging cases, and intense intervention for severe cases. The chapter contains a step-by-step process for several evidence-based interventions that address school refusal behavior in youth, including child-based therapy that focuses on anxiety management, parent- and family-based therapy that focuses on contingency management, and a broader approach that incorporates school personnel and other professionals.