This chapter discusses comprehensive school crisis interventions, identifies the characteristics that define a crisis, finds ways to assess for the level of traumatic impact, and determines what interventions can be provided to help with response and recovery. It highlights the PREPaRE Model of crisis prevention and intervention. There are six general categories of crises: acts of war and/or terrorism; violent and/or unexpected deaths; threatened death and/or injury; human-caused disasters; natural disasters; and severe illness or injury. Children are a vulnerable population and in the absence of quality crisis interventions, there can be negative short- and long-term implications on learning, cognitive development, and mental health. Evidence-based interventions focusing on physical and psychological safety may be implemented to prevent a crisis from occurring or mitigate the traumatic impact of a crisis event by building resiliency in students. Crisis risk factors are variables that predict whether a person becomes a psychological trauma victim.
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- Go to chapter: Evidence-Based Interventions for Major Depressive Disorder in Children and Adolescents
Depression is a chronic, recurring disorder that impacts children’s academic, interpersonal, and family functioning. The heritability of major depressive disorder (MDD) is likely to be in the range of 31% to 42%. This chapter begins with a brief overview of the etiology of depression. It presents a description of a cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) intervention designed to be delivered in a group format, an individual interpersonal intervention, and an individual behavioral activation (BA) intervention that includes a great deal of parental involvement. The ACTION program is a manualized program that is based on a cognitive behavioral model of depression. There are four primary treatment components to ACTION: affective education, coping skills training (BA), problem-solving training, and cognitive restructuring. The chapter concludes with a brief discussion of universal therapeutic techniques to be incorporated into work with depressed youth regardless of the therapeutic orientation or treatment strategy.
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.
The most challenging and arguably most important part of any assessment is the diagnostic formulation and recommendations for intervention. This chapter explains clinical decision making and diagnostic formulation using a developmental systems approach (DSA) that is based on developmental bioecological theory. It provides suggestions for organizing assessment data and methods for thinking about the data in order to formulate the case systemically. The chapter discusses key issues involved in linking assessment with academic and psychosocial intervention. It reviews the knowledge, strategies, skills, and attitudes that are essential competencies for psychologists who conduct assessments with culturally and linguistically diverse (CLD) children and adolescents. Assessments and intervention with CLD children and adolescents are both challenging and rewarding. Psychologists who work with these children and families effectively have a set of attitudes that stimulate them to find information and research, as well as develop effective strategies.
This chapter describes the Coping Skills Program, an innovative, school-based, universal curriculum for elementary-school aged children that is rooted in cognitive behavior theory. Rooted in cognitive behavior theory, the Coping Skills Program consists of carefully constructed metaphorical fables that are designed to teach children about their thinking; about the connections among their thoughts, feelings, and behavior; and about how to change what they are thinking, feeling, and doing when their behavior causes them problems. The chapter provides a thorough description of the Coping Skills Program and how it is implemented through a discussion of relevant research-based literature, and the theoretical underpinnings underlying this cognitive behavior approach with school-aged children. It also includes the results of preliminary testing of the Coping Skills Program. The research-based literature shows that cognitive behavior approaches are among the interventions commonly used by social workers to help young children in school settings.
The vast majority of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender children face similar developmental hurdles as their heterosexual and cisgender (non-transgender) peers, and grow up to be happy, healthy, resilient adults. However, research suggests that LGBTQ+ children also face a number of special challenges that may impact self-esteem, social–emotional development, behavioral risk taking, and mental and physical health. This chapter synthesizes available evidence to help identify and intercept issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity among children and adolescents and offers suggestions for caring for this increasingly visible, vulnerable, and wonderful population. LGBTQ+ youth face dual challenges—the expected developmental and social hurdles of childhood and adolescence combined with the struggles inherent in recognizing and accepting one’s sexual orientation and/or gender identity, including external and internal experiences of stigma and marginalization.
This chapter provides an overview of the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of children and adolescents with a diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). It presents common coexisting or comorbidities that are seen in children and adolescents with a diagnosis of ADHD. Early behavioral intervention may assist young children to learn self-management of actions before they might escalate to levels disrupting the child’s learning, peer interactions, and family life. When behavioral strategies are not effective or learning is compromised, stimulant medication becomes the gold standard of ADHD therapy, with the adjunct of behavioral therapy and/or disorder-targeted medications to mediate hyperactivity, mood, or negative outcomes. The child or adolescent with coexisting ADHD requires a team approach led by the pediatric primary care provider to include other medical and behavioral consultants, members from the child’s school to identify and diagnose coexisting disorders, and to establish an evidence-based, family-centered treatment plan.
This chapter integrates elements and strategies of internal family systems (IFS) psychotherapy into eye movement desensitization and reprocessing (EMDR) therapy with complexly traumatized children. It shows a description of healing a part using in-sight with a child. In-sight involves having the client look inside to find and work with parts that he or she sees or senses and describes to the therapist. The IFS therapist starts by ensuring the client’s external environment is safe and supportive of the therapy. In a self-led system, polarizations are absent or greatly diminished, leaving more harmony and balance. However, when and how the self is formed may be seen and conceptualized through different lenses in adaptive information processing (AIP)-EMDR and IFS. According to the AIP model, the human brain and biological systems are shaped by the environmental experiences they encounter.
Ineffective child-rearing practices and poor parental attachments in the early years of life have the possibility of impairing a child’s physical, psychological, social, and emotional well-being. Although inadequate parenting has been linked to psychological issues with older children, few studies have investigated the negative effects ineffective bonding in the infant and toddler periods have on brain development. This chapter discusses the compelling outcomes of ineffective parenting and provides insights for assessing the parent–child relationship and interventions that may intercept behavioral disorders in children and adolescents as a direct result of ineffective parenting. Without appropriate interactions, children’s brains do not receive proper signals that allow for suitable neuronal development and connections, which can alter brain architecture. Therefore, early intervention is critical, as children and adolescents are more likely to develop negative psychological and physical symptoms in relation to toxic stress than adults.
This chapter discusses psychotropic medications for children and adolescents. While some stimulants and psychotropic medications are prescribed by pediatric primary care providers (P-PCPs) in primary care settings, and in particular those credentialed as pediatric primary care mental health specialists (PMHSs), many are prescribed by psychiatrists and psychiatric-mental health nurse practitioners (PMHNP). This chapter provides the most current information about simulant and psychotropic medications and other medications prescribed for children with emotional or behavioral and mental health problems, with a focus on safe prescribing for behavioral management, reduction in symptoms, and the knowledge needed to intercept adverse side effects of prescribed medications. It provides P-PCPs with information about the safety and effectiveness of psychotropic medications for this population, with a focus on the privilege and responsibilities for safe prescribing practices.