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.
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.
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.
Asthma, a pulmonary condition, is a chronic respiratory disorder typified by persistent underlying inflammation of tissues, airway obstruction, congestion, hyperresponsive airways, and the narrowing of smooth airway muscle. Asthma is one of the most common chronic medical conditions in children and is the leading cause of school absenteeism. This chapter describes childhood asthma, including its causes and triggers. It elucidates the extant research supporting treatment of the disorder and provides step-by-step empirically based interventions to ameliorate asthmatic symptomatology in children. The psychological underpinnings of asthma have been investigated in the field of psycho-neuroimmunology (PNI), which examines the interplay of the central nervous system, neuroendocrine, and immune system with psychological variables and their relation to physical health. Researchers have shown that relaxation and guided imagery (RGI), written emotional expression, yoga, and mindfulness therapy improve pulmonary lung functioning, decrease rates of absenteeism, and improve overall quality of life.
This chapter reviews the empirical support for such a multifaceted approach by considering selected neurodevelopmental concerns and medical variables that present as obstacles to healthy neurodevelopment. It discusses select neuro-developmental prenatal complications that can be prevented or ameliorated through behavioral interventions with the pregnant mother. The chapter addresses the deleterious effects of legal substances on the developing fetus, but professionals should be vigilant about preventing or reducing intrauterine exposure to illicit substances as well. Tobacco is a legal substance that, when used during pregnancy, has the potential to harm both the mother and fetus. Of particular concern with tobacco use are the detrimental health risks, such as hypertension and diabetes, which adversely affect the cerebrovascular functioning of pregnant women. The process of neurodevelopment is complex and represents a dynamic interplay among genetics, behavior, demographics, the environment, psychosocial factors, and myriad physiological factors.
An individual’s identity development, including his or her preferred gender identity, is a lifelong process, which starts with the earliest interactions with the world. The concepts of gender identity have been explored, studied, debated, and discussed for decades and are currently going through a resurgence of examination, especially in Western cultures. This chapter provides an overview of gender identity development, beginning with an explanation of terms, followed by an exploration of theoretical perspectives which includes cognitive developmental theory, social learning theory, gender schema theory and feminist theory. Topics include current research and perspectives on how gender identity evolves in children and recent shifts in understanding atypical gender identities, including transgender, gender neutral, and gender fluid identification. Finally, implications and strategies for mental health professionals are discussed, especially related to counseling those who are experiencing conflict or distress surrounding issues of gender and gender identity.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) causes two injury types: primary and secondary. In infants and young children, nonaccidental TBI is an important etiology of brain injury and is commonly a repetitive insult. TBI is by far the most common cause of acquired brain injury (ABI) in children and is the most common cause of death in cases of childhood injury. In 2009, the Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network (PECARN) issued validated prediction rules to identify children at very low risk of clinically important TBI, which is defined as TBI requiring neurosurgical intervention or leading to death. The range of outcomes in pediatric TBI is very broad, from full recovery to severe physical and/or intellectual disabilities. Children and adolescents who have suffered a TBI are at increased risk of social dysfunction. Studies show that these patients can have poor self-esteem, loneliness, maladjustment, reduced emotional control, and aggressive or antisocial behavior.
This chapter includes information related to the clinical evaluation of a concussion that a child might receive in a medical setting. It discusses guidelines for appropriate use of smartphone concussion evaluation apps. This chapter examines a brief section on the future of concussion assessment. The Acute Concussion Evaluation (ACE) can help the school concussion team obtain information regarding the injury, including the cause, severity, any amnesia, loss of consciousness (LOC), and any early signs. The computerized neurocognitive assessment typically measures player symptoms, verbal/visual memory, attention span, working memory, processing speed, response variability, nonverbal problem solving, and reaction time. Neurocognitive tests, sideline assessments, and smartphone apps can help district staff and parents determine the severity of a student’s symptoms. A neuropsychological assessment to assess cognitive functioning, memory, speed, and processing time may also be administered.