What are the unique contributions of historical information to the child assessment process?
What are the typical domains, variables, or behaviors, assessed by such strategies?
What structured and unstructured history taking methods are available?
How should clinicians go about collecting comprehensive historical information efficiently?
History taking, often through a clinical interview is central to the purpose of child assessment. Indeed, it is perhaps the essential component of child psychological assessment, as a good history enables the clinician to conceptualize a case by providing information about the developmental course of the child’s difficulties, the specific presentation of the individual child’s difficulties, risk and protective factors, and the important contextual influences on the child’s functioning. Such factors are not routinely assessed by rating scales, self-report inventories, or other widely used measures. Indeed, it is impossible to conceive of a competent assessment that would not include history taking in some form.