Clinical Guide to Psychiatric Assessment of Infants and Young Children

  • Karen A. Frankel
  • Joyce Harrison
  • Wanjiku F.M. Njoroge

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xx
  2. Rachel Stein, Wanjiku F. M. Njoroge, Dena M. Dunn
    Pages 1-20
  3. Sherryl Scott Heller, Kate Wasserman, Anna Kelley, Roseanne Clark
    Pages 107-141
  4. Diane Misch, Giovanni Billings, Ji Su Hong, Joyce Harrison
    Pages 143-183
  5. Theodore J. Gaensbauer, Sarah Gray, Virginia I. Hatch
    Pages 185-216
  6. Leandra Godoy, Alison E. Chavez, Rachel A. Mack, Alice S. Carter
    Pages 217-251
  7. Julianna Finelli, Mary Margaret Gleason
    Pages 285-326
  8. Vivian L. Tamkin, Bhavin Dave, Adeela T. N. Whittaker, Karen A. Frankel
    Pages 327-355
  9. Back Matter
    Pages 357-367

About this book


This book provides a clinical guide to the psychiatric assessment of infants and young children, birth through five years, and their families. It offers a comprehensive, data-rich framework for conducting mental health assessments of infants, toddlers, and preschoolers. The book includes a step-by-step guide for evaluation and assessment, reviewing relevant literature and best practices for working with very young children. It begins with an overview of the purpose and principles of psychiatric assessment and offers a protocol for planning and executing a thorough evaluation. Chapters examine critical aspects of the assessment process, including children’s relationships with parents/caregivers, assessment of parents, cultural considerations, and play behaviors. Chapters also provide illustrative case vignettes and information on specialized tools that can be adapted for use in a private office or training clinic.


Topics featured in this book include:

  • Play-based assessment models for accessing the inner world of young children.
  • The effect of caregivers and their reflective functioning on the mental health of young children.
  • The use of adult-report rating scales in the clinical assessment of young children.
  • Psychopharmacologic considerations in early childhood.

The Clinical Guide to Psychiatric Assessment of Infants and Young Children is a must-have resource for researchers, clinicians, and related professionals, and graduate students in infancy and early childhood development, pediatrics, social work, psychiatry, and public health.                                         



The volume is both highly practical and up to date, impressively bridging the gap between science and practice. The book is an invaluable guide for students and trainees and an important reference for seasoned clinicians.

David Oppenheim, Ph.D., University of Haifa


The book integrates relational, developmental and social-emotional health dimensions within each chapter, reviewing subjective and objective measures in a range of domains. The book is clear and user-friendly.  I wholeheartedly recommend it!

Daniel S. Schechter, M.D., New York University School of Medicine


This important new volume provides multiple perspectives on the entire range of assessment methods and procedures used in early childhood mental health. This is a vital read for students and practitioners.

Charles H. Zeanah, M.D., Tulane University


Clinical assessment and formulation of treatment plans Clinical infant mental health Culture and psychiatric assessment of infants and young children Diagnosis of infant mental health problems Early Childhood Screening Assessment (ECSA) Evaluation of infant mental health problems Infant and early childhood mental health Interviewing techniques for infants and very young children Medication assessment of infants and very young children Observational assessment of infants and very young children Parent-child relational assessment Preschool mental health Psychiatric assessment of infants and very young children Psychiatric assessment of parent-child relationships Psychiatric assessment of preschoolers Psychiatric diagnosis for infants and very young children Psychopharmacological treatment of very young children Screening tools for infants and very young children Standardized interviews of caregivers and children Treatment planning for infants and very young children

Editors and affiliations

  • Karen A. Frankel
    • 1
  • Joyce Harrison
    • 2
  • Wanjiku F.M. Njoroge
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of PsychiatryIrving Harris Program in Child Development and Infant Mental Health, University of Colorado School of MedicineAuroraUSA
  2. 2.Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral SciencesJohns Hopkins University School of MedicineBaltimoreUSA
  3. 3.Child and Adolescent Psychiatry FellowshipPhiladelphiaUSA

Bibliographic information