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Sixth Edition

A person who is severely impaired never knows his hidden sources of strength until he is treated like a normal human being and encouraged to shape his own life.
      —Helen Keller, American author, lecturer, and blind
           and deaf activist (1880–1968)

The Sixth Edition of Foundations of Behavioral, Social, and Clinical Assessment of Children, which also includes the Resource Guide to Accompany Foundations of Behavioral, Social, and Clinical Assessment of Children, Sixth Edition, is designed to be used as an independent text in such courses as personality assessment, behavioral assessment, and child clinical assessment and as a reference source for students and professionals. The Sixth Edition can also be used together with Assessment of Children: Cognitive Foundations, Fifth Edition and Assessment with the WAIS–IV to provide in-depth coverage of assessment of children and young adults.

A Major Revision

Every chapter in the Sixth Edition has been rewritten to make the text more comprehensive, relevant, readable, up to date, and informative. The Sixth Edition contains new material on disruptive disorders, anxiety and mood disorders, substance-related disorders, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder, autism spectrum disorder, specific learning disability, intellectual disability, giftedness, visual impairments, hearing impairments, brain injuries (including sports-related concussions), adaptive behavior, visual-motor perception and motor proficiency, functional behavioral assessment, executive functions, bullying and cyberbullying, and testifying as an expert witness. In addition, the Sixth Edition contains reviews of several new standardized measures for assessing behavioral, social, and emotional functioning of children and for assessing parenting and family functioning.

Unique Resource Guide

What is unique to the Sixth Edition is the Resource Guide, which contains a wealth of materials not readily available elsewhere, including the following:

  • A Background Questionnaire for obtaining information from parents about their children with special needs

  • A Personal Data Questionnaire for obtaining information from adolescents with special needs

  • A School Referral Questionnaire for obtaining information from teachers of children with special needs

  • Fifteen semistructured interviews useful for interviewing children with special needs, their parents, and their teachers

  • Six new semistructured interviews on bullying and threat assessment

  • Forms for conducting systematic behavioral observations, including new forms for conducting classroom observations

  • Forms for conducting self-monitoring assessments

  • Forms for recording functional behavioral assessments

  • Forms for arriving at a DSM-5 diagnosis of attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder or autism spectrum disorder

  • Forms for the assessment of giftedness and creativity

  • Forms for the assessment of brain injury

  • Forms for the assessment of risk factors and protective factors

  • A form for conducting a threat assessment

  • Handouts for parents and teachers of children with special needs containing lists of instructional and behavioral support strategies

  • Handouts for parents and teachers containing lists of strategies for preventing and dealing with bullying, cyberbullying, and other Internet issues

  • Chapters on executive functions, bullying and cyberbullying, and testifying as an expert witness

  • Glossaries of abbreviations and acronyms, legal terms and concepts, and measurement terms

Learning Aids

The Sixth Edition contains several useful learning aids:

  • A list of major headings, together with goals and objectives, at the beginning of each chapter

  • A “Thinking Through the Issues” section; a summary of each major topic; a list of key terms, concepts, and names, each linked to the page on which it appears; and a series of study questions at the end of each chapter

  • Exercises on interviewing

  • Principles of report writing

Special Features

Among the special features in the Sixth Edition are an exhibit describing public health policies aimed at three levels of prevention; a table of key indicators of well-being of children; a section on computer-based administration and scoring of popular tests; a comprehensive table listing measures of executive functions; a table of recommendations for conducting effective assessments of children from culturally and linguistically diverse groups; examples of misconceptions about various groups of children with special needs; and cartoons touching on assessment, psychology, and education. The cartoons provide comic relief and serve as teaching and learning tools.

Philosophical Background of Text

The Sixth Edition is based on the philosophy that a psychologist cannot be a competent clinical assessor unless he or she has the relevant information about a child’s presenting problem, assets and limitations, family, classroom, and environment, as well as knowledge of the techniques needed to perform assessments and an understanding of interventions that might help the child and his or her family. In this text, you will find information to help you become a competent clinical assessor.

Clinical assessors must be mindful of the pervasiveness of litigation in American society. Those who seek legal recourse to change a diagnosis or recommendation may question assessment results and the decisions reached on the basis of assessment results. Therefore, we strongly urge you to assume that everything you do has potential legal consequences. The best strategy is to be prepared. You can do this by (a) using the most appropriate assessment techniques and instruments, (b) maintaining accurate and complete records, (c) keeping up with the research and clinical literature in your field, and (d) studying Appendix O in the Resource Guide, which deals with the challenges of being an expert witness.

Underlying any assessment should be respect for children and their families and a desire to help children. A thorough assessment will allow assessors to learn things about the child that they could not learn simply from talking to others about the child, observing the child, or reviewing the child’s records. Assessment brings a wealth of information to children, parents, teachers, health care providers, and other professionals and makes a difference in children’s lives.

Note to Instructors

An Instructor’s Manual, written by Susan Ferencz and Jerome M. Sattler, accompanies Foundations of Behavioral, Social, and Clinical Assessment of Children, Sixth Edition. For each chapter, the Instructor’s Manual contains multiple-choice questions useful for objective examinations. PowerPoint presentations highlighting the main points of each chapter are also available.

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