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An Assessment Approach for Use in Counselling to Promote Young People’s Quality of Life


Quality of life (QOL) has come to be considered a primary outcome of service delivery for children and youth. Still, after decades of debate, no consensus exists regarding what this concept means or how to measure it. There has been a multitude of instruments used to measure this outcome for young people. The majority of these tools have focused on health and functioning, with little attention paid to other aspects of life that may matter to the QOL of children and youth and, more generally, what QOL specifically means to them. This paper provides a brief overview of the current approaches to conceptualizing and measuring young people’s QOL and related issues. It then considers one potential assessment approach that could be used by various types of counsellors (e.g., education, mental health, rehabilitation, family). This approach is based on the available literature that has explored the perspectives of young people, both with and without chronic conditions and disabilities, regarding what QOL means to them. It will then be discussed how this approach may provide a valid, efficient, positively-oriented, relationship-centred way for counsellors to accurately identify needs and goals to target for intervention that are meaningful and interrelated within the overall context of a young client’s life and long-term development. Directions for future research are presented.

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Correspondence to Janette McDougall.

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McDougall, J. An Assessment Approach for Use in Counselling to Promote Young People’s Quality of Life. Int J Adv Counselling 42, 455–467 (2020).

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  • Quality of life
  • Children
  • Youth
  • Assessment
  • Counselling