Assessing Family Context
Why is assessing a child’s family context important in the clinical assessment of children’s emotional and behavioral functioning?
What dimensions of a child’s family context are most important to the assessment process?
How can one assess these important dimensions of family functioning?
In the summary of research on childhood psychopathology provided in Chap. 3, one of the more important findings was that children’s and adolescents’ emotional and behavioral functioning was heavily influenced by the demands and stressors they experienced in their environment. As a result, to truly understand a child’s or adolescent’s psychological adjustment, one must not limit the assessment to obtaining characteristics of the youth but must also assess the important contexts that shape a child’s or adolescent’s behavior. There is no context more important to understanding a child or adolescent than the family context.