Clinical assessment of child and adolescent personality and behaviour by Frick, Barry, & Kamphaus (fourth edition) – Chapter 15 summary

Assessment should include many areas of functioning (1), use multiple techniques (2) and use multiple sources (3). The integration of this information is often difficult due to the low rate of agreement between informants but this may reflect real situational variability in children’s behaviour. Informant disagreement is influenced by the type of behaviour being assessed and the measurement technique used across informants (i.e. assessment strategy).

The level of analysis should be taken into account when assessing a lack of agreement between informants as individual behaviours show less consistency across informants than broader dimensions of behaviours (e.g. diagnosis). To understand the different behavioural manifestations, it is important to understand the demands of different contexts.

Complex schemes refer to systems in which one source of information is weighed more heavily than others. Simple schemes (i.e. either/or approach) refer to systems in which information from all sources is weighed equally. Complex schemes are often based on clinical judgement rather than empirical evidence, meaning that simple schemes may be superior. However, this is only when informants are asked to provide information that they are expected to know. There may be a differential validity of various informants across behavioural domains.

The quality of information provided by different informants is influenced by the age of the child. The importance of parents and teachers as informants may decrease with age and the importance of children’s self-report may increase. Nonetheless, the reliability of parent report is still acceptable in adolescence. Marital conflict (1), parental adjustment (2), maternal alcoholism (3), marital difficulties (4), ethnicity (5), different motivation (6) and testing conditions (7) may influence the report of various informants and should be considered when interpreting discrepant information.      

There are several common cognitive strategies that can lead to errors in the problem-solving process:

  1. Availability heuristic
    This refers to estimating the probability of an event based on the ease with which examples come to mind.
  2. Representative heuristic
    This refers to when accessing a scheme by a given characteristic leads to the exclusion of other schemas (e.g. sadness lead the clinician to consider MDD and not other disorders).
  3. Anchoring heuristic
    This refers to having predictions or decisions that are overly dependent on initial impressions and the discounting of later information.
  4. Confirmatory search strategies
    This refers to using procedures that only seek to confirm
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Summaries & Study Note of JesperN
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“Clinical Skills: Developmental Psychology – Course summary (UNIVERSITY OF AMSTERDAM)"

This bundle contains everything you need to know for the course "Clinical Skills: Developmental Psychology" given at the University of Amsterdam. It contains all the lectures and the following chapters of the books:

Clinical assessment


Clinical assessment of child and adolescent personality and behaviour by Frick, Barry, & Kamphaus (fourth edition) – Book summary

This bundle contains a summary of the following chapters of the book "Clinical assessment of child and adolescent personality and behaviour by Frick, Barry, & Kamphaus (fourth edition)": 2, 3, 4, 5, 13, 15, 16.