Assessment of Depression and Anxiety
What are the core symptoms of childhood depression and anxiety?
Which informant(s) and assessment strategies are most useful for the diagnosis of depression and anxiety?
What developmental factors need to be considered in assessment of child/adolescent depression and anxiety?
What factors contribute to better or worse prognosis for childhood depression and anxiety?
It is commonplace to consider symptoms of depression and anxiety under the term internalizing problems, a tendency reflected in the structure of many common rating scales (e.g., Achenbach & Rescorla, 2001; Reynolds & Kamphaus, 2004). More specifically, rating scales often have an internalizing symptom composite that consists of depression, anxiety, and often, somatic complaints. Historically, children with internalizing difficulties have been described in a number of ways, including as having a personality problem syndrome with difficulties of anxiety, withdrawal, and feelings of inferiority (Peterson, 1961); anxious-fearful (Behar & Stringfield, 1974); inhibited (Miller, 1967); anxious-immature (Conners, 1970); and overcontrolled (Edelbrock, 1979). Children solely with internalizing problems are easily distinguished from children solely with externalizing problems, but this does not imply that such difficulties are easily diagnosed and treated. In fact, it can be quite the contrary.