Special Issue "Trends and Challenges in Clinical Psychological Diagnosis in Children and Adolescents"

A special issue of International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health (ISSN 1660-4601). This special issue belongs to the section "Adolescents".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 28 February 2022.

Special Issue Editors

Prof. Dr. Małgorzata Lipowska
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Institute of Psychology, Faculty of Social Sciences, University of Gdańsk, 80-309 Gdańsk,
Interests: clinical child psychology and neuropsychology; development psychology; educational psychology; body image in developmental perspective; gender psychology
Dr. Katarzyna Sitnik-Warchulska
E-Mail Website
Assistant Guest Editor
Institute of Applied Psychology, Faculty of Management and Social Communication, Jagiellonian University, 30-348 Krakow, Poland
Interests: biopsychosocial and developmental approaches in psychological diagnosis and treatment; psychopathology; clinical child and adolescent psychology; therapeutic relations and mental problems in children and adolescents; family factors associated with children's mental health
Dr. Urszula Sajewicz-Radtke
E-Mail Website
Assistant Guest Editor
Psychological and Pedagogical Laboratory of Tests, 80-239 Gdańsk, Poland
Interests: clinical psychology; dynamic diagnosis, clinical diagnosis; development psychology; diagnosis of cognitive functioning; diagnosis of specific learning difficulties, diagnosis of cognitive functioning in genetic syndromes; creating diagnostic tools, diagnosis of intelligence, cognitive therapy

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The psychological diagnosis of children and adolescents is a contemporary need, but also a big challenge. Most mental and neurodevelopmental illness has its onset in childhood and adolescence. 10% of children and adolescents have a clinically diagnosable mental problem, and 50% of mental health problems are established by age 14. 

Today, most conditions co-occur among children and youth. Therefore, professionals need a complex construct for diagnosis, including a developmental approach that takes into account multiple needs, family, and the sociocultural context. Diagnosing this group of patients requires taking into account a very wide range of factors and requires specific procedures and the skills of psychologists.

We would like to encourage the publication of researchers who put emphasis on practical applications. We are looking for research, tools, procedures, and solutions that take into account the developmental, family, and environmental perspectives of children and adolescents. It is advisable that the presented work has practical implications or constitutes a starting point for improving the daily practice of a diagnostic psychologist.

We invite authors to submit original research and review articles that address the new approaches in children's clinical psychological diagnosis, including the aspects of:

  1. diagnosis of mental and developmental disorders of children and adolescents
    • neurodevelopmental disorders and dysfunctions
    • emotional and behavioral disorders 
    • eating disorders
    • trauma and stress related disorders
    • personality disorder symptoms 
  2. trends in approach to psychological diagnosis
    • psychosocial context of diagnosis
    • developmental approach to diagnosis 
    • psychological diagnosis in context of international classifications: ICD 11, DSM 5, DC: 0-5
  3. challenges in clinical psychological diagnosis in children and adolescents
    • remote diagnosis 
    • diagnosis with the use of modern technologies
    • interdisciplinary diagnosis
    • functional diagnosis
    • dynamic assessment
  4. diagnosis of cognitive, emotional, social and family functioning in children suffering from 
    • oncology
    • neurology
    • genetics
    • chronic conditions

 Both qualitative and quantitative studies and reviews will be considered.

Prof. Małgorzata Lipowska
Dr. Katarzyna Sitnik-Warchulska
Dr. Urszula Sajewicz-Radtke
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2300 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Developmental approach
  • Assessment of development
  • Neurodevelopmental disorders
  • Children’s mental disorders
  • Psychosocial diagnosis
  • Diagnosis as a process
  • Psychological assessment
  • Dynamic diagnosis
  • Functional diagnosis
  • Environmental and Family conditions

Published Papers (7 papers)

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Research

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Article
Parent’s Stress Predictors during a Child’s Hospitalization
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(22), 12019; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph182212019 - 16 Nov 2021
Viewed by 336
Abstract
A child’s illness and hospitalization are particularly difficult and most often an unpredictable situation in a family’s life cycle. The level of stress of a parent of a hospitalized child depends on many factors, such as the psychological characteristics of the child and [...] Read more.
A child’s illness and hospitalization are particularly difficult and most often an unpredictable situation in a family’s life cycle. The level of stress of a parent of a hospitalized child depends on many factors, such as the psychological characteristics of the child and the parent, the child’s health condition, and support from the family and medical staff. Our research aimed to search for interactions between the stress experienced by the parent and the temperamental variables of both the child and the parent, and the support received from the family and hospital staff. Using three pencil-paper questionnaires—PSS, EAS-D, EAS-C—and interview questionnaire, we tested 203 parent–child dyads at the time of children hospitalization. It was revealed that the most notable moderator of the relationship between temperamental traits and the characteristics of the hospital-related situation is the child’s age. When analyzing the situation of a family with a hospitalized child, particular attention should be paid to parental emotional distress, which, regardless of the child’s age, predicts a high level of parental stress. Full article
Article
Symptoms of Autism, Comorbid Mental Health Conditions and Challenging Behaviors among Toddlers with Down Syndrome at Low Risk for ASD—Characterization Using the BISCUIT—Parts 1–3
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(20), 10684; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph182010684 - 12 Oct 2021
Viewed by 391
Abstract
Background: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may coexist with Down syndrome (DS). Most studies on this topic involve school-age children, adolescents, or adults with DS. This study looked at ASD symptoms, other mental health problems, and challenging behaviors in toddlers with DS at [...] Read more.
Background: Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) may coexist with Down syndrome (DS). Most studies on this topic involve school-age children, adolescents, or adults with DS. This study looked at ASD symptoms, other mental health problems, and challenging behaviors in toddlers with DS at low risk of ASD. Methods: We used screening tools for autism in toddlers; BISCUIT–Parts 1–3 and Q-CHAT. We compared four groups of children aged 17–37 months: DS, ASD, Atypical Development (AD), and Typically Developing (TD). Results: Children with DS showed lower symptoms of ASD than children with ASD (without DS) and higher than TD children, except for repetitive behaviors/restricted interests. For comorbid mental health problems and difficult behaviors, children with DS scored lower than children with ASD. There were no differences between children with DS and TD children in this regard. Conclusions: The study results indicate that BISCUIT–Parts 1–3 are valid instruments to differentiate toddlers with DS from toddlers with ASD. However, they also show that toddlers with DS at low ASD risk are a very heterogeneous group when the ASD symptoms are considered. Autistic characteristics should be taken into account in supporting young children with this genetic condition. Full article
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Article
Significance of the Diagnosis of Executive Functions in Patients with Relapsing-Remitting Multiple Sclerosis
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(19), 10527; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph181910527 - 07 Oct 2021
Viewed by 507
Abstract
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a progressive chronic disease of the Central Nervous System (CNS). Cognitive decline occurs rather rarely in relapsing–remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) compared to other types. The present study aimed to assess executive functions (EF) in relation to clinical and demographic [...] Read more.
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a progressive chronic disease of the Central Nervous System (CNS). Cognitive decline occurs rather rarely in relapsing–remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS) compared to other types. The present study aimed to assess executive functions (EF) in relation to clinical and demographic variables in patients with RRMS. The study involved 22 individuals with RRMS (aged 23 to 49 years) and 22 matching controls. All the individuals with RRMS were in the remission phase. The assessments were carried out using MoCA, BDI-II, Halstead Category Test, Porteus Maze Test, verbal fluency tasks and Stroop Colour-Word Interference Test. The findings show that the two groups differed significantly in all the tests. All patients with RRMS in the remission phase presented at least one cognitive deficit, observed in general cognitive functioning, abstract reasoning or other executive functions, i.e., fluency, interference suppression, planning, or ability to modify activity in response to feedback. The deficits in most cases (except for those measured with the MoCA, Category Tests and phonemic fluency), are not related to intensity of depression and duration of the disease. Findings suggest that the diagnostic process in the case of patients with RRMS may include psychological assessment focusing on potentially existing cognitive, mainly executive, deficits and their severity. Full article
Article
Trait and State: Interoceptive Accuracy during Anticipation of Public Speaking in Junior Secondary Shy Students from an Eastern Province of China
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(9), 4951; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18094951 - 06 May 2021
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Abstract
This study investigated the interoceptive accuracy (IAc) of shy adolescents during anticipation of public speaking with a 2 × 2 factorial design. Altogether, 637 junior secondary students in an eastern province of China were sampled and screened with the Chinese version of Cheek [...] Read more.
This study investigated the interoceptive accuracy (IAc) of shy adolescents during anticipation of public speaking with a 2 × 2 factorial design. Altogether, 637 junior secondary students in an eastern province of China were sampled and screened with the Chinese version of Cheek and Buss shyness scale. The top 27% of students were considered the shy group (n = 30, 16 girls, Mage = 13.03, SD = 0.67), whereas the bottom 27% were labelled the non-shy group (n = 31, 16 girls, Mage = 13.16, SD = 0.86). The two groups of participants estimated their heart rates during specified intervals using a mental tracking paradigm in two conditions (baseline vs. anticipation), while their actual heart rates were simultaneously measured. The results indicated that: (1) the shy adolescents were more accurate in estimating their actual heart rate than non-shy adolescents; and (2) both shy and non-shy adolescents exhibit enhanced IAc in anticipation conditions when compared with baseline conditions. Implications of the higher IAc of shy adolescents and the state feature of IAc are discussed. Full article
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Article
Communication Abilities of Children with DoC after Severe Brain Injury in ICF Frames
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(8), 4267; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18084267 - 17 Apr 2021
Viewed by 707
Abstract
Introduction: The ability to communicate is one of the fundamental factors underlying human relationships. Severe brain damage and disorders of consciousness may indispose a person to participate in everyday social and family life. In spite of this fact, however, the issue of holistic [...] Read more.
Introduction: The ability to communicate is one of the fundamental factors underlying human relationships. Severe brain damage and disorders of consciousness may indispose a person to participate in everyday social and family life. In spite of this fact, however, the issue of holistic approach to communication in the context of severe traumatic brain injury is still not well explained and described. The goal of this article is to introduce a profile of nonverbal behavior of children with disorders of consciousness. Materials and methods: The study included 30 children with minimal conscious state after severe brain trauma, aged between 7 and 16 years old. Research was conducted using the Coma Recovery Scale—Revised and the Bykova–Lukyanov Scale of Communication Activity. Results: Significant differences in communication level between investigated groups were demonstrated, both in Body Function (F = 9.184; p < 0.001) and Activity and Participation (F = 13.100; p < 0.001). Conclusions: It is possible to map and classify communication ability of children with minimal conscious state by using International Classification of Functioning, Disability and Health (ICF) protocol and the Bykova–Lukyanov Scale of Communication Activity, with specific consideration of Activities and Participation factors. This approach reveals differences in communication and disability level between children with minimal conscious state plus (MSC+) and minimal conscious state minus (MSC−). Full article
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Article
The Influence of Metacognitive Strategies on the Improvement of Reaction Inhibition Processes in Children with ADHD
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(3), 878; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18030878 - 20 Jan 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1160
Abstract
Background: Low response inhibition underlies attention disorders and hyperactivity. The aim of this study is to check whether these processes will be strengthened by three months of training with metacognitive strategies. Methodology: Forty-five schoolchildren took part in an experimental study (M = [...] Read more.
Background: Low response inhibition underlies attention disorders and hyperactivity. The aim of this study is to check whether these processes will be strengthened by three months of training with metacognitive strategies. Methodology: Forty-five schoolchildren took part in an experimental study (M = 10.41; SD = 1.42). Each child had been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). The participants were randomly assigned into three groups: the first group was tested for the effect of Mind Maps; the second group, for the effect of Sketchnoting, while the third group was assigned the role of a Control group. All of the groups were examined with the Loud Subtraction 7 test (LS7T) with a distractor before and after the training. Results: Analysis with the Wilcoxon test showed that children with ADHD made significantly fewer errors in the LS7 Test in the second measurement in the Mind Maps group (M1 = 7.45; SD1 = 4.07; M2 = 5.76; SD2 = 4.68; p = 0.02). In the remaining groups, there were no statistically significant differences in the average number of errors made. Conclusions: Mind Maps are an effective metacognitive strategy. Regular use of this method strengthens the inhibition of children with ADHD in this study. It can complement the existing forms of support for the child. Full article
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Study Protocol
Empathy and Hormonal Changes as Predictors of Sensitive Responsiveness towards Infant Crying: A Study Protocol
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2021, 18(9), 4815; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijerph18094815 - 30 Apr 2021
Viewed by 961
Abstract
Sensitive responsiveness refers to parents’ ability to recognize and respond to infants’ cues and has been linked to parental empathy. Additionally, oxytocin (OT) and vasopressin (AVP) are hormones important for sensitivity and empathy. The aim of this study is to test the links [...] Read more.
Sensitive responsiveness refers to parents’ ability to recognize and respond to infants’ cues and has been linked to parental empathy. Additionally, oxytocin (OT) and vasopressin (AVP) are hormones important for sensitivity and empathy. The aim of this study is to test the links between dispositional empathy along with changing OT and AVP levels and responsiveness to a life-like doll in couples and to verify whether these factors are predictors of responsiveness to a child’s cues. Exploratory analyses include predictors of sensitive responsiveness: polymorphisms of OXTR, AVPR1a and CD38 genes, personal characteristics and relational factors. The project employs standardized experimental settings that can be used with non-parents and the assessment of parental sensitive responsiveness towards their child. The participants are couples expecting their first child (111) and childless couples (110). The procedure involves caretaking of a life-like doll. Salivary samples and questionnaire data are collected in a planned manner. In the second part, the expectant couples are invited for the assessment of their sensitivity to their own child (Free Play episodes). Parental sensitivity is assessed using the Ainsworth Sensitivity Scale. This paper presents an interdisciplinary research project that reaches beyond the questionnaire measurement, considering many factors influencing the dynamics of adult–infant interaction. Full article
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