Development Assessment of Children and Adolescents

Working With Children And Adolescents Versus Adults DQ

Working With Children And Adolescents Versus Adults DQ

The assessment process of children and adolescents in psychiatry is vastly different than that of adults. Why is this? Oftentimes, children have the same emotional, cognitive, and behavioral deficits. In children and adolescents, however, the justification for behaviors isn’t always as easy to determine. Per the NIMH (2019), children are more difficult to diagnose because of their lack of understanding of their symptoms, withdrawn demeanor, and influence of external factors on their behaviors. Because of this, specific assessment tools are employed that differentiate child/adolescent assessments from that of adults.

Why a Development Assessment of Children and Adolescents is Important

Bellman, Byrne, and Sege (2013) suggest that behavioral deficits in adulthood are often correlated to developmental delays in childhood. Likewise, Shogren, et al. (2015) discussed a direct correlation to emotional support needs in children and adolescents with developmental disabilities and behavioral deficits in adulthood. Developmental delays aren’t always cognitive in nature. Developmental delays in children and adolescents can be cognitive, such as those caused by chromosomal disorders, or seizure disorders. Developmental delays can be social, emotional, or behavioral–such as autism disorder or attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder. With certain developmental delays, alterations in brain development can affect the way these individuals process and react to information—causing difficulties in learning, communication, and interpersonal interactions (NYU Langone Health, 2019). Understanding which delays are present, if any, can assist in determining viable treatment options and potential behavioral concerns that may manifest.

Two Assessment Instruments and Justification for Use in Children/Adolescents but Not Adults

Two screening tools unique to the treatment of adolescents and children are as follows: The C-GAS and the HEADSSS questionnaire. The C-GAS, or Children’s Global Assessment Scale, is used for children and adolescents, ages 4-16, to determine any functional impairments that may exist (NSW Department of Health, 2015). This scale is not utilized in adults, because it specifically measures the child’s level of functioning in areas such as school, with peers, emotional functioning, and functioning within society (NSW Department of Health, 2015). The HEADSSS questionnaire, however, was developed to determine adolescent risk factors in the following areas: home, Education/employment, activities, drugs, sexuality, suicide/self-image, and safety (Heard Alliance, 2011). This assessment tool is used for adolescents only to determine specific risk factors in the child’s life. Afterall, certain risk factors can lead to at-risk behaviors. This assessment tool identifies those factors in hopes of establishing protective mechanisms.

Two Treatment Options for Children/Adolescents that are Not Used in Adults

There are several treatment modalities favored in the child/adolescent populations that are often not employed in adult mental health treatment. These include the use of parental participation and favoritism toward psychotherapy opposed to medication usage. Many psychotropic medications and other medications used in the mental health treatment of children and adolescents are based on evidence-based treatment regimens, opposed to actual pediatric dosing. In addition, side effects of medications warrant caution in younger age groups. Because of this, psychotherapy is the most highly recommended treatment option for children. Psychotherapy is equally utilized in adult psychiatric treatment. However, adult treatment is often augmented with psychopharmacological intervention. In addition, treatment for children entails frequent evaluation. For example, the NIMH (2019) proposed that the incorporation of “teaching skills” and “practicing skills” within the home are unique to child/adolescent psychiatric care. This requires frequent evalution to determine if these skills are resolving the child’s mental health concerns, whether it be improvements adacemically, improved social skills, or a decrease in disruptive behaviors. Working With Children And Adolescents Versus Adults DQ

Parental Role in Assessment and Treatment of Children/Adolescents

Parents play a major role in their child’s psychiatric care. Per Haine-Schlagel and Walsh (2015), the mental health of children and adolescents is largely influenced by their interpersonal interactions, family, and social life. A child’s family interactions and environment represents the largest contributor to childhood behavioral problems (Haine-Schlagel & Walsh, 2015). Because of this, Haine-Schlagel and Walsh (2015) discuss the importance of incorporating family, if possible, into the child’s psychiatric treatment. This can be accomplished through family therapy, or having educational sessions with the parents to discuss communication strategies, discipline strategies, and other helpful tactics. Per Haine-Schlagel and Walsh (2015), parental participation is often difficult related to feelings of “blame” or difficulty with understanding the therapeutic point of view (pg. 135). However, is is suggested that parental involvement is an evidence-based treatment modality– promoting child and adolescent treatment outcomes for a variety of disparities, including depression, defiant disorders, eating disorders, disruptive disorders, and childhood anxiety disorders.


Bellman, M., Byrne, O., & Sege, R. (2013). Developmental Assessment of Children. British Journal of Medicine, 346(21), 31-35. Retrieved from Walden Library databases.

Haine-Schlagel, R., & Walsh, N. E. (2015). A Review of Parent Participation Engagement in Child and Family Mental Health Treatment. Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, 18(2), 133-150. Retrieved from

Heard Alliance. (2011). HEADSSS Assessment: Risk and Protective Factors. Retrieved from

NIMH. (2019). Children and Mental Health: Is This Just a Stage? Retrieved from National Institute of Mental Health:

NSW Department of Health. (2015). Children’s Global Assessment Scale (CGAS). Retrieved from

NYU Langone Health. (2019). Types of Developmental Delays in Children. Retrieved from Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Lagone:

Shogren, K. A., Seo, H., Wehmeyer, M. L., Palmer, S. B., Thompson, J. R., Hughes, C., & Little, T. D. (2015). Support Needs of Children with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities: Age-Related Implications for Assessment. Psychology in the Schools, 52(9), 874-891. Retrieved from Walden Library databases.

Why a Development Assessment of Children and Adolescents is Important


Developmental assessments are important for children and adolescents because they provide information about the level of competence that your child has reached. A developmental assessment will help you identify areas where intervention may be needed and also determine where your child will do best. This can help guide instruction and practice so that students can reach their full potential while still having fun in school!

It helps to provide information about your child’s level of competence.

It can help to provide information about your child’s level of competence. This is important because it allows you to identify areas for further assessment and treatment, which in turn will allow for improved communication with the child.

It also helps to determine the child’s strengths and weaknesses. If a child has an area of strength, then they may show improvement at that task or skill over time. However, if there are areas where their skills do not meet expectations (e.g., reading), then those needs should be addressed as soon as possible so that they do not become problematic later on in life when trying to complete academic tasks such as taking tests or completing homework assignments

It identifies which factors may be impeding the child’s progress.

A Development Assessment of Children and Adolescents can help identify which factors may be impeding the child’s progress. The assessment can also help identify any areas of strength, as well as areas for further assessment and treatment.

It tells you where your child will do best, and that can help guide instruction and practice.

A development assessment can tell you where your child is at and how to help him or her progress. If a student doesn’t have the skills needed for success in school, it’s important that parents know what their child needs in order to get there. This is especially true if there are differences between home and school environments that may affect learning.

A developmental assessment can also help determine which areas of study should be emphasized by teachers and parents (e.g., reading comprehension versus writing). For example, if one child likes math better than reading but another prefers writing over both subjects combined then it would make sense for them all learn both subjects equally well so as not to fall behind other students who might be better suited for either subject area moreso than theirs would be independently from each other’s preferences towards academics overall.”

It helps you identify areas for further assessment and treatment.

As a caregiver, you want to make sure that your child is receiving the best possible education. An assessment can help you identify areas for further assessment and treatment. It also helps to target your child’s strengths and weaknesses so that they can be used as resources in their learning environment.

An example of this would be if a student has trouble memorizing information but has a high IQ level; they may need some extra help with memory skills, while another student might do well on tests but struggles socially due to anxiety or depression issues; these students may require different teaching approaches in order to learn well

It allows you to pinpoint strengths in addition to weaknesses so that they can be targeted or strengthened.

A developmental assessment is important for several reasons. It allows you to pinpoint strengths in addition to weaknesses so that they can be targeted or strengthened, which helps your child’s development and learning process.

It also helps motivate them since it gives them an idea of where they stand in comparison with other children their age group. If a child knows what they need improvement on, then he/she will be more motivated to work harder at improving on those specific areas because of how much he/she cares about his/her own success as well as what others think about him/her.

A developmental assessment of children and adolescents can be done at any age between 2-20 years old depending on the individual’s needs

A developmental assessment is a comprehensive evaluation of a child’s physical, emotional, social and cognitive development. It provides an in-depth look at a child’s strengths and weaknesses as well as their overall health status.

Developmental assessments typically include:

  • Mental Health Assessment (MHQ) – This can be done at any time during childhood or adolescence but should occur within first 2 years of life if there are concerns about the child’s well being. The MHQ includes questions about what seems normal for this age group; how they feel about themselves; whether they have fears or anxieties about everyday activities such as going on vacation etc.; how much sleep does he get every night; does he struggle with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) symptoms like impulsivity/hyperactivity? Does she engage in risky behavior such as smoking cigarettes regularly? These questions will help you determine whether your child needs further evaluation by someone trained in diagnosing mental health problems like depression or anxiety disorders.”


A developmental assessment of children and adolescents is a very important part of the process of early intervention. It can help to provide information about your child’s level of competence and identify areas for further assessment or treatment so that you can pinpoint strengths in addition to weaknesses so that they can be targeted or strengthened.


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