Approaches to the Assessment of Children in the Context of Disasters

  • Betty S. LaiEmail author
  • Eva Alisic
  • Rayleen Lewis
  • Kevin R. Ronan
Child and Family Disaster Psychiatry (B Pfefferbaum, Section Editor)
Part of the following topical collections:
  1. Topical Collection on Child and Family Disaster Psychiatry


Children exposed to disasters are a vulnerable population, making the assessment of children post-disaster an important issue. Utilizing a Multiple Gating Stepped Care framework, we highlight recent literature related to post-disaster assessment and intervention for children. In particular, we focus on screening, clinical evaluation, and feedback-informed service delivery. Screening allows large populations of children to be assessed at a relatively low cost. Children identified by screening as being at risk may then be assessed through more in-depth clinical evaluations, in order to assess clinical symptoms, strengths, and stressors, and to make determinations about appropriate interventions. Continued assessment during therapy provides important feedback for the delivery of appropriate care. New formats for assessment, as well as issues related to identifying sources for assessment, are discussed. Recommendations for future directions are provided.


Disasters Assessment Children Posttraumatic stress 



The funding support of Australia’s Bushfire and Natural Hazards Cooperative Research Centre is gratefully acknowledged.

Compliance with Ethical Standards

Conflict of Interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Human and Animal Rights and Informed Consent

This article does not contain any studies with human or animal subjects performed by any of the authors.


Papers of particular interest, published recently, have been highlighted as: • Of importance •• Of major importance

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Betty S. Lai
    • 1
    Email author
  • Eva Alisic
    • 2
  • Rayleen Lewis
    • 1
  • Kevin R. Ronan
    • 3
  1. 1.Georgia State UniversityAtlantaUSA
  2. 2.Monash University Accident Research CentreMonash University, Clayton CampusClaytonAustralia
  3. 3.School of Human, Health, and Social SciencesCQUniversity AustraliaRockhamptonAustralia

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