In This Article Mental Illness: Children

  • Introduction
  • General Overviews
  • Reference Resources
  • Journals
  • The Child Mental Health Service System
  • Interviewing and Engaging Children
  • Cultural Factors
  • Parents and Families
  • Social Context: Risk for Mental Disorders
  • Policy
  • Ethics, Trauma, Forensics, and Grief

Social Work Mental Illness: Children
by
Marlys Staudt
  • LAST MODIFIED: 14 December 2009
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195389678-0091

Introduction

Approximately 20 percent of children and adolescents have a psychiatric diagnosis. Anxiety and disruptive disorders are some of the more frequent disorders. About 5 to 7 percent of children have a serious emotional disturbance (SED). In addition to a diagnosis, these children experience impairment that substantially interferes with and limits their functioning in family, school, or community activities. Social workers in many settings, including mental health clinics, schools, child welfare, juvenile justice, and health care, are called upon to assess and treat youth with mental health disorders or to refer them to appropriate services. This entry provides references that will assist students and practitioners to understand the influences on child mental health, assessment and treatment strategies, and the service system and policies.

General Overviews

The topic of child mental illness is broad and includes the etiology and treatment for specific disorders, the history and structure of the service system, social policies affecting the delivery of services, and child and family access to and use of services. The references in this section provide an introduction to and an overview of mental illness in children. Each covers a variety of topics that are important to a basic understanding of children’s mental health policies and services as well as the etiology and treatment of child mental disorders. Dore 2005, US Department of Health and Human Services 2000, Marsh and Fristad 2002, and Pumariega and Winters 2003 provide information on specific disorders, treatments, the service system, and policy. They are an excellent starting point for students as well as good references for those already in the field. Dogra, et al. 2008 is basic and is best for paraprofessionals, undergraduate students, or others with no prior experiences in children’s mental health. Webber and Plotts 2008 is intended for school professionals, but those in other settings will also glean useful information on disorders from the book. National Advisory Mental Health Council 2001 focuses on developing and deploying intervention research focused on child and adolescent mental health. These sources provide a broad overview and touch upon several relevant issues rather than covering one topic in depth.

  • Dogra, Nisha, Andrew Parkin, Fiona Gale, and Clay Frake. 2008. A multidisciplinary handbook of child and adolescent mental health for front-line professionals. London: Jessica Kingsley.

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    This is an introductory and easy-to-read handbook on child mental health. It defines mental health and describes the factors that influence it. Some specific child problems and treatments are described, and legal aspects are discussed.

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    • Dore, M. M. 2005. Child and adolescent mental health. In Child welfare for the 21st century: A handbook of practices, policies, and programs. Edited by Gerald P. Mallon and Peg McCartt Hess, 148–172. New York: Columbia Univ. Press.

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      Provides a good introduction to child mental health. It includes sections on the etiology of childhood mental disorders, identification of and assessment for disorders, current treatments, and the historical development of the mental health service system for children. Brief case scenarios at the beginning of the chapter are used to illustrate concepts.

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      • Levin, Bruce Lubotsky, John Petrila, and Kevin D. Hennessy, eds. 2004. Mental health services: A public health perspective. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

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        Divided into four sections: service delivery issues, populations at risk (including children and adolescents), special issues (including criminal justice and racial diversity), and management of mental health systems.

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        • Marsh, Diane T., and Mary A. Fristad, eds. 2002. Handbook of serious emotional disturbance in children and adolescents. New York: Wiley.

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          Good source for practitioners and graduate students as it covers a range of issues relevant to children and youth with serious emotional disturbances. It provides a good introduction to specific disorders as well as the system of care concept and training and supervisory issues.

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          • National Advisory Mental Health Council, Workgroup on Child and Adolescent Mental Health Intervention Development and Deployment. 2001. Blueprint for change: Research on child and adolescent mental health. Rockville, MD: Department of Health and Human Services, National Institutes of Health, National Institute of Mental Health.

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            Reviews child and adolescent mental health intervention research, examines current intervention research, and describes areas for future research as well as the infrastructure needed for this research.

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            • Pumariega, Andres J., and Nancy C. Winters, eds. 2003. The handbook of child and adolescent systems of care: The new community psychiatry. San Francisco: Wiley.

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              Addresses clinical treatments within community-based systems of care (SOC), administrative and policy issues related to the systems of care, the history of and concepts of the systems of care, and mental health services in other sectors of care, including schools, juvenile justice, and foster care. The concepts of empowerment and cultural sensitivity are integrated into each chapter.

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              • US Department of Health and Human Services. 1999. Children and mental health. In Mental health: A report of the surgeon general, 124–220. Rockville, MD: US Department of Health and Human Services.

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                The first surgeon general’s report on mental health. Chapter 3 is devoted exclusively to children and adolescents and summarizes normal development, risk factors, prevention, etiology and treatment of specific disorders, and service delivery issues.

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                • US Department of Health and Human Services. 2000. Report of the surgeon general’s Conference on Children’s Mental Health: A national action agenda. Washington, DC: Department of Health and Human Services.

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                  Prepared by the Department of Health and Human Services with the Department of Education and the Department of Justice. It makes recommendations and suggests action steps to enhance child mental health and improve services.

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                  • Webber, Jo, and Cynthia A. Plotts. 2008. Emotional and behavioral disorders: Theory and practice. Boston: Pearson, Allyn, and Bacon.

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                    This text was designed for school practitioners but is useful for those practicing in other settings as well. The main section describes five frameworks of disorders with applications to schools. Remaining chapters are devoted to internalizing and externalizing disorders, adolescents, and special issues in schools. Key questions, case studies, related readings, and suggested homework are included.

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                    Reference Resources

                    The websites in this section are appropriate for students, professionals, and family members. Whereas all contain information relevant to child mental health, each differs in its primary focus. The National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) website is focused on the etiology and treatment of mental health disorders. The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) provides information on topics that come under its purview, including health and child abuse and neglect. The National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health and the Portland Research and Training Center on Family Support and Children’s Mental Health emphasize the centrality of families and family-centered and culturally relevant services.

                    Journals

                    Social work does not have a journal devoted exclusively to child mental health. The number of journals, both of social work and of other disciplines, that may contain articles on child mental health are too numerous to note. Some journals relevant to social work include the interdisciplinary journals focused on child mental health: Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Journal of Child and Family Studies, Child and Adolescent Mental Health, European Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, Child and Adolescent Psychiatric Clinics of North America, and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Mental Health. The latter is an open access online journal. Social work journals that include articles on children’s mental health include Social Work in Mental Health and Health and Social Work.

                    The Child Mental Health Service System

                    To understand the current children’s mental health services system it is important to have a historical understanding of services for children. To that end, Pumariega, et al. 2003 and Smuts 2006 provide an extensive history of the development of children’s services and the social forces that enhanced or impeded services for children. Knitzer 1982 is a frequently cited and seminal piece of work that called attention to deficiencies in children’s mental health services. Jane Knitzer’s findings were a catalyst for reforming the child mental health system, eventually resulting in the system of care concept developed by Stroul and Friedman 1994. That volume is also a well-known work that describes the principles of a model system of care for children. These principles are widely adopted in current children’s services. Arbuckle and Herrick 2006 adds to Stroul and Friedman 1994 by providing different perspectives and examples of the system of care in practice, including the views of parents, child welfare workers, educators, and others. Stroul and Blau 2008 also make real the system of care concept as it provides case examples of systems of care and practical suggestions for their implementation. These three works alone will provide students and practitioners a comprehensive understanding of model systems of care and ideas for how to implement them in practice. Specific recommendations for model services for very young children and for school-based services are made by Perry, et al. 2007 and the President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health 2003 report, respectively.

                    • Arbuckle, Margaret B., and Charlotte A. Herrick, eds. 2006. Child and adolescent mental health: Interdisciplinary systems of care. Boston: Jones and Bartlett.

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                      Each chapter of this text examines the system of care from a different perspective, including those of families and various disciplines, such as nursing, psychiatry, juvenile justice, child welfare, and education. Each chapter concludes with suggested activities to enhance learning, making it useful for an undergraduate or a graduate text.

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                      • Knitzer, Jane. 1982. Unclaimed children: The failure of public responsibility to children and adolescents in need of mental health services. Washington, DC: Children’s Defense Fund.

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                        This seminal work describes deficiencies in child mental health policies and the service delivery system for children and documented unmet needs.

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                        • Perry, Deborah F., Roxane K. Kaufman, and Jane Knitzer, eds. 2007. Social and emotional health in early childhood: Building bridges between services and systems. Baltimore: Brookes.

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                          Establishes the importance of early childhood mental health to later school success. Examples of successful prevention and intervention strategies are provided, and there is a discussion of issues related to service delivery and financing. Research and case examples are integrated, and a systemic and contextual approach is taken.

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                          • President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health. 2003. Achieving the promise: Transforming mental health care in America. Rockville, MD: Department of Health and Human Services.

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                            Report of the commission charged by the president in 2002 to study and report on the mental health service delivery system. Documents unmet needs and barriers to care and makes recommendations for improved services, including school-based services.

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                            • Pumariega, Andres J., Nancy C. Winters, and Charles Huffine. 2003. The evolution of systems of care for children’s mental health: Forty years of community child and adolescent psychiatry. Community Mental Health Journal 39.5: 399–425.

                              DOI: 10.1023/A:1025808902438E-mail Citation »

                              Traces the history and development of children’s mental health services in detail, from the initial efforts to reform juvenile delinquents to the current system.

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                              • Smuts, Alice Boardman. 2006. Science in the service of children: 1893–1935. London: Yale Univ. Press.

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                                Provides a history of child research and integrates the scientific and social movements as they relate to the study of children. It includes the early history of child guidance and the children’s bureau.

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                                • Stroul, Beth A., and Gary M. Blau, eds. 2008. The system of care handbook. Baltimore: Brookes.

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                                  Provides the historical context for system of care development and provides strategies for the development of systems of care in communities. Practical approaches are highlighted, and practice examples are integrated with research in this thorough volume.

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                                  • Stroul, Beth A., and Robert M. Friedman. 1994. A system of care for children and youth with severe emotional disturbances. Rev. ed. Washington, DC: Georgetown Univ. Child Development Center, Child and Adolescent Service System Program (CASSP) Technical Assistance Center.

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                                    This monograph describes a system of care for children with severe emotional disturbances. The monograph is still referenced today. It provides a definition of the system of care and describes its components as well as strategies for developing and managing systems of care.

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                                    Treatments

                                    As in other fields of practice, more and more attention has recently been given to evidence-based treatments in child mental health. This section provides references to some of the empirically supported treatments for common disorders. The Multiple Disorders and Treatments subsection consists of handbooks and texts that describe a number of disorders and treatments, whereas the Selected Disorders and Treatments subsection lists references that focus only on one condition or treatment. Many of these citations describe the treatment specifically and either contain or reference treatment manuals.

                                    Selected Disorders and Treatments

                                    Depression is one of the most frequently diagnosed internalizing disorders in children. Left untreated, it can result in impaired functioning and even suicide. Social work students and practitioners will gain a thorough understanding of the etiology and treatment of childhood depression in Abela and Hankin 2008. Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) is a commonly diagnosed behavioral disorder in children. Russell A. Barkley is one of the foremost experts in ADHD, and Barkley 2006 is comprehensive in its coverage of assessment and treatment strategies. Alcohol and substance use disorders frequently co-occur with mental health disorders. Kaminer and Bukstein 2007 provides general information on substance abuse by adolescents as well as assessment and treatment strategies for comorbid substance abuse and mental health disorders. Whereas these three books focus on a specific disorder and its treatment, two others focus on cognitive-behavioral treatment (CBT). CBT is effective in the treatment of several child and adolescent problems. The authors of Cohen, et al. 2006 are well known for their work in trauma-focused CBT, which has been implemented in the treatment of children who have experienced severe abuse and other trauma. School-based services are increasingly an important component of services for children; Mayer, et al. 2009 describes the implementation of CBT in schools. Finally, the treatment of children frequently involves the involvement and treatment of their parents; Kazdin 2005 provides a treatment manual for parent management training.

                                    • Abela, John R. Z., and Benjamin L. Hankin, eds. 2008. Handbook of depression in children and adolescents. New York: Guilford.

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                                      Thoroughly describes the epidemiology, etiology, treatment, and prevention of depression in children and adolescents. A section on special populations includes sex differences in depression, children of depressed mothers, suicidal behavior, and child abuse and neglect.

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                                      • Barkley, Russell A. 2006. Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder: A handbook for diagnosis and treatment. New York: Guilford.

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                                        This book is a thorough and complete work on the diagnosis, assessment, and treatment of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

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                                        • Cohen, Judith A., Anthony P. Mannarino, and Esther Deblinger. 2006. Treating trauma and traumatic grief in children and adolescents. New York: Guilford.

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                                          This treatment manual outlines the components of trauma-focused cognitive behavioral treatment (TF-CBT). The first section provides information on the impact of and assessing for trauma and the basics of TF-CBT. The second section focuses on trauma aspects of TF-CBT and the third section on grief aspects of the model. The appendices contain handouts and training resources.

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                                          • Kaminer, Yifrah, and Oscar G. Bukstein, eds. 2007. Adolescent substance abuse: Psychiatric comorbidity and high-risk behaviors. New York: Haworth.

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                                            A thorough text on adolescent dual diagnosis. The first part addresses issues of etiology, assessment, treatment planning, and interventions for substance disorders. Then nine chapters describe assessment and treatment for specific psychiatric disorders that frequently exist in conjunction with substance use disorders. Two final chapters are devoted to policy and legal and ethical issues.

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                                            • Kazdin, Alan E. 2005. Parent management training: Treatment for oppositional, aggressive, and antisocial behavior in children and adolescents. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                              Provides an overview of theory, principles, concepts, and research related to parent training. A treatment manual used in outpatient treatment with families of children with oppositional and antisocial behavior is included.

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                                              • Mayer, Matthew J., Richard Van Acker, John E. Lochman, and Frank M. Gresham, eds. 2009. Cognitive-behavioral interventions for emotional and behavioral disorders: School-based practice. New York: Guilford.

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                                                After discussing the foundation of cognitive-behavioral interventions, these sections describe the interventions for anger and aggression, anxiety, depression, and other needs. Attention is given to the provision of these interventions in the contexts of schools and special education.

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                                                Multiple Disorders and Treatments

                                                Whereas the references in Selected Disorders and Treatments all focus on a specific treatment (or disorder), the references in this subsection are more generic in that each includes information on several disorders or treatments. Brown, et al. 2008; Kazdin and Weisz 2003; and Morris and Kratochwill 2008 contain chapters that focus on a specific disorder, both internalizing and externalizing, and present evidence-based treatments for that disorder. Practitioners and researchers are learning more and more about effective prevention efforts, and Gullotta and Blau 2008 includes information on prevention programs as well as treatment for common disorders experienced by children. Thambirajah 2007 uses case illustrations to show how current knowledge was used to conceptualize treatment plans (including problems and interventions) for specific disorders and problems. It is an excellent resource for students on how to begin to think about and synthesize case material to move toward a plan for intervention. Burns and Hoagwood 2002 focuses on community-based interventions within which some of the treatments reviewed in the other sources are frequently used. Finally, more recognition is now given to the benefit of nontraditional and alternative forms of treatment, and Greco and Hayes 2008 reviews some of these.

                                                • Brown, Ronald T., David O. Antonuccio, George J. DuPaul, Mary A. Fristad, Cheryl A. King, Laurel K. Leslie, Gabriele S. McCormick, William E. Pelham Jr., John C. Piacentini, and Benedetto Vitiello. 2008. Childhood mental health disorders: Evidence base and contextual factors for psychosocial, psychopharmacological, and combined interventions. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

                                                  DOI: 10.1037/11638-000E-mail Citation »

                                                  This work was commissioned by the American Psychological Association (APA) and reports on the evidence for the use and integration of psychotropic mediations and psychosocial treatments for children and adolescents. Each chapter covers a specific disorder, including bipolar disorder, autism, elimination disorders, eating disorders, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, anxiety, depression, conduct disorders, and obsessive-compulsive disorders.

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                                                  • Burns, Barbara J., and Kimberly Hoagwood, eds. 2002. Community treatment for youth: Evidence-based interventions for severe emotional and behavioral disorders. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                    Describes community-based interventions and the evidence for their effectiveness as well as targeted interventions in schools and substance abuse and mental health (for example, special education, psychopharmacology). Some of the community interventions included are case management, treatment foster care, multisystemic therapy, and the wraparound approach.

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                                                    • Greco, Laurie A., and Steven C. Hayes, eds. 2008. Acceptance and mindfulness treatments for children and adolescents. Oakland, CA: New Harbinger.

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                                                      Presents what is known about “third-wave” treatments for children and adolescents and issues in their application. Included are mindfulness cognitive therapy for anxiety, dialectical behavior therapy for borderline features, acceptance and commitment therapy for externalizing disorders, mindful parenting, and others.

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                                                      • Gullotta, Thomas P., and Gary M. Blau, eds. 2008. Handbook of childhood behavioral issues: Evidence-based approaches to prevention and treatment. New York: Routledge.

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                                                        The authors use the biopsychosocial-environmental perspective to describe influences on and effective prevention and intervention for a number of childhood disorders. The book describes family and community influences on child development and includes sections on physical health issues and behavioral health issues (e.g., anxiety, depression, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder [ADHD], post-traumatic stress disorder [PTSD], oppositional defiant disorder [ODD], autism). Thorough, practical, and readable.

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                                                        • Kazdin, Alan E., and John R. Weisz, eds. 2003. Evidence-based psychotherapies for children and adolescents. New York: Guilford.

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                                                          Specific treatments are presented for internalizing and externalizing disorders, autism, obesity, and anorexia nervosa. Supporting evidence for the effectiveness of each treatment is provided. References to treatment manuals and other resources make this a great reference for both graduate students and practitioners.

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                                                          • McAuley, Colette, Peter Pecora, and Wendy Rose, eds. 2006. Enhancing the well-being of children and families through effective interventions: International evidence for practice. London: Jessica Kingsley.

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                                                            Integrates the research to present what is known about effective interventions in the United States and the United Kingdom. The focus is on public child welfare (foster care, adoption, abuse and neglect) and schools.

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                                                            • Morris, Richard J., and Thomas R. Kratochwill, eds. 2008. The practice of child therapy. New York: Lawrence Erlbaum.

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                                                              Provides a detailed discussion of treatment techniques for major behavior and learning disorders. Each chapter is devoted to a specific disorder, including autistic spectrum, conduct, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), and other disorders and conditions.

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                                                              • National Registry of Evidence-based Programs and Practices (NREPP).

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                                                                Maintained by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration. Users search for prevention and treatments for mental health and substance use disorders by age, race and ethnicity, service setting, and so forth. Interventions are described; references are included. A wealth of information for students and practitioners.

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                                                                • Thambirajah, M. S. 2007. Case studies in child and adolescent mental health. Oxford: Radcliffe.

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                                                                  Provides sixteen case studies of children and adolescents presenting with different conditions. Each case includes a discussion of the knowledge base used in conceptualizing and defining the problems and describes how the case was managed, relying on current evidence of effective interventions.

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                                                                  Interviewing and Engaging Children

                                                                  Whereas the section Treatments provides references to evidence-based treatments, this section focuses on crosscutting skills and knowledge needed in working with children across settings and conditions. This includes developing relationships with children, asking appropriate questions, conducting developmentally appropriate assessments, and providing therapy. Hersen and Thomas 2007 and Webb 2003 are the most helpful in providing practical strategies in working with children and are appropriate for students, practitioners new to working with children, or seasoned practitioners who want to review and renew their skills. Bilmes and Welker 2006 is quite basic but useful as an introduction for undergraduate students. It can also be used by practitioners to train paraprofessionals or for giving information to parents on childhood mental disorders. Kazdin 2000 is for graduate students and practitioners who want a more in-depth review of current psychotherapy approaches with children and research needs.

                                                                  • Bilmes, Jenna, and Tara Welker. 2006. Common psychological disorders in young children: A handbook for early childhood professionals. St. Paul, MN: Redleaf.

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                                                                    A basic and easy-to-read book for those who work with children with mental disorders but who are not trained mental health providers. It provides an overview of some of the common disorders, their causes, and treatment strategies. Case examples are used.

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                                                                    • Hersen, Michael, and Jay C. Thomas, eds. 2007. Handbook of clinical interviewing with children. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

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                                                                      A thorough treatment of the skills and knowledge necessary for interviewing children and others (parents and teachers) in their environment. This handbook provides an overview of general issues (types of interviewing, diversity issues, etc.), how to interview children with specific disorders, and information on special populations (abused children, habit disorders, etc.).

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                                                                      • Kazdin, Alan E. 2000. Psychotherapy for children and adolescents: Directions for research and practice. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                        The book is divided into three parts. The first provides a description of psychotherapy and the problems it addresses. The second part reviews evidence in support of psychotherapy and uses research studies as exemplars. The third part focuses on what is needed to reduce knowledge gaps.

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                                                                        • Webb, Nancy Boyd. 2003. Social work practice with children. New York: Guilford.

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                                                                          Provides essential information to social workers who work with children in any context. The book takes an ecological approach and uses case examples to illustrate the process of helping children; it includes information on assessment, treatment planning, helping methods, and children in special circumstances (illness, substance abuse, foster care, and so forth)

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                                                                          Cultural Factors

                                                                          Many different factors, including culture, influence children’s mental health, how symptoms are expressed, whether parents and other adults recognize these symptoms, and whether and from where help is sought. Understanding the role of culture in children’s mental health is especially relevant today given the multicultural society in the United States. In this section some of the sources relevant to child mental health and culture are described. By far the most practice-based source is Webb 2001, whereas Achenbach and Rescorla 2007 is heavily research based and not intended for undergraduates or others without advanced knowledge about research and children’s mental health. Garralda and Raynaud 2008 provides a more global lens to how culture impacts child mental health. It should also be noted that many of the sources in other sections of this entry address culture or integrate issues of culture within the material.

                                                                          • Achenbach, Thomas M., and Leslie A. Rescorla. 2007. Multicultural understanding of child and adolescent psychopathology: Implications for mental health assessment. New York: Guilford.

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                                                                            Two approaches, empirically based and diagnostically based, are used to present findings in relation to how presenting problems, problem prevalence, and correlates of problems are similar or different across cultures. Readers should have fairly sophisticated research knowledge and a good understanding of child psychopathology prior to reading the book.

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                                                                            • Garralda, M. Elena, and Jean-Philippe Raynaud, eds. 2008. Culture and conflict in child and adolescent mental health. Lanham, MD: Aronson.

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                                                                              The first section of this book discusses the effect of stigma on African children, international adoption, and the effects of military conflict. The second section addresses cultural aspects of specific disorders and transgenerational transmission of mental health problems and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The last covers training and interventions. The volume has an international and global perspective.

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                                                                              • Webb, Nancy Boyd. 2001. Culturally diverse parent-child and family relationships: A guide for social workers and other practitioners. New York: Columbia Univ. Press.

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                                                                                The book is divided into three sections. The first includes a framework for culturally responsive practice and discusses ethical issues. The second and main body consists of ten chapters devoted to parent-child relationships in selected cultural groups, whereas the third section revisits culturally sensitive practice and education.

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                                                                                Parents and Families

                                                                                It is not possible to understand children without also understanding the environments in which they live and grow. Child well-being is influenced by how parents and families interact with and respond to the child. Some children are placed outside of their homes, and for these children, the quality and continuity of foster or institutional care become important to their well-being. This section provides references for information on how parents and families (including settings performing parenting functions) impact child mental health and on including families in treatment planning. Combrinck-Graham 2006 and Dishion and Stormshak 2006 are good sources for students on how to include parents and families in assessment and treatment. Webster-Stratton and Reid 2003 describes an evidence-based and well-known program, the Incredible Years, a multifaceted training for parents and teachers of children two to eight years old with conduct problems. Gullotta and Blau 2008 reviews some risks confronted by children and adolescents (foster care, abuse, grappling with sexual orientation) and prevention and interventions for these children and their families. Too often it is not recognized how parental stress and the immediate environment and resources affect children. Rosenzweig and Brennan 2008 sets new ground in its focus on the work environment of parents and how to help parents navigate their work and school and service systems on behalf of their children and themselves. Jensen and Hoagwood 2008 is intended for parent advocates. It contains a wealth of resources helpful to practitioners in their work with parents, is practical and research based, and is appropriate for students and practitioners at all levels. The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) website is helpful to both practitioners and parents.

                                                                                • Combrinck-Graham, Lee, ed. 2006. Children in family contexts: Perspectives on treatment. New York: Guilford.

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                                                                                  Offers a family systems approach to assessing and treating children. The book contains five sections: child mental health in a family context, different family structures, special challenges (for example, parent death, parent mental illness, alcoholism in families), interactions with larger systems, and social issues (family violence, immigrants, child protection).

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                                                                                  • Dishion, Thomas J., and Elizabeth A. Stormshak. 2006. Intervening in children’s lives: An ecological, family-centered approach to mental health care. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

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                                                                                    Takes an ecological and family-centered approach to assessment and intervention with children. The authors themselves use the approaches described in this book. The book provides practical information on assessment, interventions, and ethics for students and practitioners who take a family approach to working with children.

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                                                                                    • Gullotta, Thomas P., and Gary M. Blau, eds. 2008. Family influences on childhood behavior and development: Evidence-based prevention and treatment approaches. New York: Routledge.

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                                                                                      The premise of the book is that families make a difference in the lives of children. The first section lays the foundation and presents theoretical perspectives for how families influence children. The second examines specific issues in families, including divorce, parents with mental illness, child abuse, foster care, and lesbian and gay families. Recommendations for best practices are made.

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                                                                                      • Jensen, Peter S., and Kimberly Eaton Hoagwood, eds. 2008. Improving children’s mental health through parent empowerment. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                        This easy-to-read and practical book is a training guide to help parents become and train others as parent advocates and advisers. It provides guidance in navigating the mental health service system. It will also help practitioners examine their attitudes toward involving parents. Appendices provide resources for parents and professionals.

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                                                                                        • National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI).

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                                                                                          Started in 1979, the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is a grassroots mental health advocacy organization focused on awareness, education, and advocacy to improve the lives of individuals and families affected by mental illness. The National Alliance on Mental Illness has affiliates in every state; some states offer support groups. A good resource for practitioners, parents, and families.

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                                                                                          • Rosenzweig, Julie M., and Eileen M. Brennan, eds. 2008. Work, life, and the mental health system of care: A guide for professionals supporting families of children with emotional or behavioral disorders. Baltimore: Brookes.

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                                                                                            This book is based on research that gathered information from families, work supervisors of parents, and human resource personnel. It is a resource for practitioners in their efforts to guide and empower parents in overcoming stigma; negotiating the work, school, and service systems; and using community support systems.

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                                                                                            • Webster-Stratton, Carolyn, and M. Jamila Reid. 2003. The Incredible Years parents, teachers, and children training series: A multifaceted treatment approach for young children with conduct problems. In Evidence-based psychotherapies for children and adolescents. Edited by Alan E. Kazdin and John R. Weisz, 224–240. New York: Guilford.

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                                                                                              Describes the assumptions, characteristics, and outcomes of the Incredible Years, an evidence-based prevention and treatment program for parents and teachers of children with conduct disorders. It provides a solid introduction to one of the better-known parenting programs.

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                                                                                              Social Context: Risk for Mental Disorders

                                                                                              Besides culture and families, there are other larger community and social factors that affect children. The stress of living in economically deprived or violent homes and communities causes stress that can contribute to the development of mental health problems. Feerick and Silverman 2006 reviews the different types of violence children may be exposed to and its effects, whereas Marcus 2007 describes the risk factors for children and adolescents engaging in aggressive or violent actions. Nancy Boyd Webb is known in social work for her work with children and texts on working with children. In Webb 2004 she describes the effects of mass trauma and provides practical strategies for practitioners to intervene with children and families exposed to such violence. Fraser 2004; Horwitz and Scheid 1999; and Remschmidt, et al. 2007 address a number of risk factors for children, taking an ecological perspective in discussing risks for children and adolescents. Fraser 2004 is the primary work in social work that addresses risks and resilience in children and adolescents. Finally, the website for the California Evidence-based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare provides information on programs relevant to children in child welfare as many of these children are at risk of developing mental health disorders.

                                                                                              • California Evidence-based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare.

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                                                                                                Children in the child welfare system frequently have or are at risk for mental health problems. This website provides topic areas relevant to child welfare workers, including mental health treatment, and describes interventions and rates each for how well it is supported by research.

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                                                                                                • Feerick, Margaret M., and Gerald B. Silverman, eds. 2006. Children exposed to violence. Baltimore: Brookes.

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                                                                                                  Focuses on domestic and community violence as well as war and terrorism. It is divided into three sections, describing the prevalence and consequences of different forms of violence, intervention approaches, and legal and policy issues.

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                                                                                                  • Fraser, Mark W., ed. 2004. Risk and resilience in childhood: An ecological perspective. Washington DC: National Association of Social Workers.

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                                                                                                    Uses an ecological approach to review risk and protective factors at the levels of child, family, and the larger environment for common childhood problems (for example, alcohol and drug use and maltreatment).

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                                                                                                    • Horwitz, Allan V., and Teresa L. Scheid, eds. 1999. A handbook for the study of mental health: Social contexts, theories, and systems. New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                      This volume sets mental health services and policies in a historical and social context. The chapter “Social Stresses in Childhood and Adolescence” focuses only on children, whereas other chapters include aspects related to children.

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                                                                                                      • Marcus, Robert F. 2007. Aggression and violence in adolescence. New York: Cambridge Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                        Using various data sources, this book describes the prevalence of aggression and violence in adolescents over the past twenty years. Discusses various risk factors for violence and provides a meta-analysis of prevention programs.

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                                                                                                        • Remschmidt, Helmut, Barry Nurcombe, Myron L. Belfer, Norman Sartorius, and Ahmed Okasha, eds. 2007. The mental health of children and adolescents: An area of global neglect. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.

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                                                                                                          Takes a public health perspective in acknowledging that unmet needs for child mental health services exist globally. Chapters review raising awareness of child mental health, epidemiology of mental disorders, prevention programs, school dropout, school violence, and violence and trauma and provides findings from three field studies on preventing school dropout.

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                                                                                                          • Webb, Nancy Boyd, ed. 2004. Mass trauma and violence: Helping families and children cope. New York: Guilford.

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                                                                                                            Using a developmental-transactional framework, this book discusses the effects of trauma and violence in different parts of the world and describes interventions for practitioners.

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                                                                                                            Policy

                                                                                                            Policies in children’s mental health have evolved over the years. Some of the citations in the General Overviews section describe the historical development of policies and services. The sources in this section add to those sources by an exclusive, more in-depth look at policies. Two of the books are written by social workers and are especially recommended for students. Jenson and Fraser 2006 builds on Fraser 2004 on risk and resiliency (see Social Context: Risk for Mental Disorders) by showing how these concepts could be used to enhance current policies in children’s services. It is thorough in its coverage of multiple service sectors related to child mental health. Moniz and Gorin 2007 on policy includes those related to adults as well as to children; an overview of mental health and health policies in the United States is necessary to contextualize those policies related to children. World Health Organization 2005 provides suggestions for those involved in developing and implementing policies, more useful for policy makers than for students.

                                                                                                            • Jenson, Jeffrey M., and Mark W. Fraser, eds. 2006. Social policy for children and families: A risk and resilience perspective. Thousand Oaks: Sage.

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                                                                                                              Policies in several areas, including child welfare, education, mental health, developmental disabilities, substance abuse, and juvenile justice, are reviewed. Discussion focuses on how concepts from the risk and resilience framework can be used to enhance policies and services.

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                                                                                                              • Moniz, Cynthia, and Stephen Gorin. 2007. Health and mental health care policy: A biopsychosocial perspective. Boston: Pearson, Allyn, and Bacon.

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                                                                                                                Written as a text for undergraduate and graduate students in social work and related fields, it is comprehensive, concise, and readable. Although not specifically focused on children, policies and issues related to children are covered (and of course policies related to adults are relevant since many adults are parents).

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                                                                                                                • World Health Organization. 2005. Child and adolescent mental health policies and plans. Geneva, Switzerland: World Health Organization.

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                                                                                                                  A practical resource for policy makers, advocacy groups, and organizations interested in developing services and policies. It consists of four practical and easy-to-use sections: context of child and adolescent mental health (CAMH), developing child and adolescent mental health policy, developing a child and adolescent mental health plan, and implementation of child and adolescent mental health policies and plans. Available online.

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                                                                                                                  Ethics, Trauma, Forensics, and Grief

                                                                                                                  This section contains references to several issues that are relevant to child mental health, including research ethics (Hoagwood, et al. 1996), the effects of trauma on memory development (Howe, et al. 2008), forensic evaluations (Melton, et al. 2007), and children and grief (Webb 2002).

                                                                                                                  • Hoagwood, Kimberly, Peter S. Jensen, and Celia B. Fisher, eds. 1996. Ethical issues in mental health research with children and adolescents. Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.

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                                                                                                                    Outlines some of the moral, legal, social, and scientific perspectives that should guide research with children and families across different contexts. Contains a casebook with actual case examples and how ethical dilemmas were resolved.

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                                                                                                                    • Howe, Mark L., Gail S. Goodman, and Dante Cicchetti, eds. 2008. Stress, trauma, and children’s memory development: Neurobiological, cognitive, clinical, and legal perspectives. New York: Oxford Univ. Press.

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                                                                                                                      The first part of the book focuses on neurobiological changes associated with stress and trauma and their consequences for memory. The second part explores how trauma experiences influence memory development. The last part covers forensic interviewing, the law and false memory, and the clinical implications of memory and trauma research.

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                                                                                                                      • Melton, Gary B., John Petrila, Norman G. Poythress, and Christopher Slobogin. 2007. Psychological evaluations for the courts: A handbook for mental health professionals and lawyers. New York: Guilford.

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                                                                                                                        The volume, for forensic mental health practitioners, discusses legal and clinical issues related to assessments for the courts. The book covers a range of issues and includes populations other than children. One part covers issues related to children and families, including juvenile delinquency, child abuse and neglect, child custody in divorce, and education.

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                                                                                                                        • Webb, Nancy Boyd, ed. 2002. Helping bereaved children. New York: Guilford.

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                                                                                                                          Making use of case examples, this book explains how children grieve to various forms of loss and provides descriptions of interventions. Appendices reference resources, including some on cultural and ethnic practices related to death.

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