Multicultural Understanding of Child and Adolescent Psychopathology

Implications for Mental Health Assessment

Thomas M. Achenbach and Leslie A. Rescorla

Hardcover
Hardcover
September 19, 2006
ISBN 9781593853488
Price: $50.00 $42.50
322 Pages
Size: 6" x 9"
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Around the world, many immigrant and minority children are immersed in mental health, social welfare, and educational systems that are ill equipped to evaluate and help them. This important volume synthesizes an array of international findings to broaden the knowledge base on cultural variations in children's emotional and behavioral problems. Drawing on both empirically based and diagnostically based approaches, the authors examine similarities and differences in the prevalence, patterns, and correlates of particular disorders. They distinguish between culture-specific and more general problems in adaptation, identify instruments and procedures that are particularly suited to multicultural assessment, and discuss the implications for developing more effective services.

“Leaves the reader with an in-depth understanding of multicultural assessment and its implications for diagnosis and prevention among children and adolescents....Achenbach and Rescorla are researchers' researchers—meticulous, rigorous, clear, and thoughtful. In this book, they provide us with the benefit of their collective wisdom and experience—a benefit which, in turn, will make a difference for the children and adolescents we serve.”

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Book Reviews


“These authors, who have impressive credentials, are widely known for their expertise in child psychopathology. Particularly, one of the authors is the developer of instruments that have been used worldwide....The authors list numerous findings from research on similarities and differences across cultures in the problems that children manifest, in the prevalence and patterning of such problems, and in the correlates of the problems.”

Psychiatric Services


“An impressive compendium of childhood psychopathology assessment across cultures...Authors additionally take on primary topics in assessment of childhood psychopathology that are not limited to the cross-cultural domain....Achenbach and Rescorla present a vast literature on assessment of childhood psychopathology across a number of cultures....The findings presented in this text provide a rich resource for future hypotheses and could serve as a useful tool in that regard for students and researchers in this area.”

Journal of Youth and Adolescents


“This significant book treats very complicated issues in a succinct, understandable way. To my knowledge, there are no authors at present who have a better understanding of these issues than Achenbach and Rescorla. The main strength of the book is its comprehensive integration of multicultural findings from both empirically based and diagnostically based assessment approaches. In the era of globalization and increasing cultural diversity, this text is sure to be consulted again and again by those concerned with understanding, assessing, preventing, and treating child psychopathology.”

—Frank C. Verhulst, MD, Editor-in-Chief, Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry


“This is an excellent book that combines what are soon to become dominant themes in the field of psychopathology; namely, evidence-based assessment and multicultural perspectives. Culture, diversity, and group identity are not sidelights or afterthoughts, but must be the point of departure for understanding, evaluating, and treating clinical problems; for teaching students; and for training researchers. Broad in its coverage, the book provides a conceptual view of child and adolescent assessment, a review of key measures and their findings, and a statement of important methodological issues in evaluating clinical disorders. The volume's approach and findings will greatly influence views about childhood disorders as well as future research. Achenbach and Rescorla have produced a scholarly, informative, and authoritative text.”

—Alan E. Kazdin, PhD, Yale University School of Medicine


“Achenbach and Rescorla provide us with an excellent guidebook for approaching child and adolescent psychopathology from a multicultural perspective. A unique contribution to empirically grounded cross-cultural research, this book will have a profound impact on future research and on clinical practice involving different ethnocultural populations. The integration of the empirical and diagnostic approaches to assessment makes this an essential text for those involved in cross-cultural research and clinical work at any level.”

—Héctor R. Bird, MD, Columbia University


“From distinguished authors with impressive scientific credentials—including the developer of one of the world's most widely disseminated measures of child psychopathology—this book is a key resource for students, researchers, and clinical professionals. Debates about the best approaches to cross-cultural and transnational assessment will continue for decades. These debates will doubtless be enriched by this important work.”

—John R. Weisz, PhD, Harvard University

Table of Contents

1. Why Should We Do Multicultural Research on Children's Problems?

2. The Empirically Based "Bottom-Up" Approach to Psychopathology

3. The Diagnostically Based "Top-Down" Approach to Psychopathology

4. Multicultural Findings on Scores Obtained with Empirically Based Assessment Instruments

5. Multicultural Findings on Correlates of Empirically Based Scale Scores

6. Multicultural Findings on Patterns of Problems in Empirically Based Assessment Instruments

7. Multicultural Findings on the Prevalence of Diagnostically Based Disorders

8. Multicultural Findings on Correlates and Comorbidity of Diagnostically Based Disorders

9. Comparisons of Empirically Based and Diagnostically Based Findings

10. Meeting Challenges Posed by Multicultural Research on Children's Problems

11. Contributions of Multicultural Research to Understanding, Assessing, Preventing, and Treating Child Psychopathology


About the Authors

Thomas M. Achenbach, PhD, is Director of the Center for Children, Youth, and Families at the University of Vermont. Educated at Yale and the University of Minnesota, he taught at Yale and did research at the National Institute of Mental Health. He has been a DAAD Fellow at the University of Heidelberg, an SSRC Fellow at Jean Piaget’s Centre d’Epistémologie Génétique, Chair of the American Psychological Association’s Task Force on Classification of Children’s Behavior, and a member of the American Psychiatric Association’s Advisory Committee on DSM-III-R. He has given over 230 presentations in 30 countries and has authored over 250 publications. Assessment instruments developed by Dr. Achenbach and colleagues have been translated into 74 languages and have yielded findings reported in over 6,000 publications from 67 cultures.

Leslie A. Rescorla, PhD, is Professor of Psychology, Director of the Child Study Institute, and Director of Early Childhood Programs at Bryn Mawr College. Educated at Radcliffe, the London School of Economics, and Yale, she obtained her clinical training at the Yale Child Study Center, the Philadelphia Child Guidance Center, and the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Dr. Rescorla developed the Language Development Survey, a screening tool for language delay in toddlers. She has presented findings from her 15-year longitudinal study on late talkers in numerous publications. In addition to her research on language delays in young children and in longitudinal patterns of school achievement, Dr. Rescorla conducts research on empirically based assessment of emotional and behavioral problems in children, adolescents, and adults.

Audience

Clinicians, researchers, and students in child clinical and developmental psychology, child psychiatry, and related fields.

Course Use

May serve as a supplemental text in graduate-level child psychopathology courses.