Understanding the Mental Health Problems of Children and Adolescents
Kirstin Painter and Maria Scannapieco
Lyceum Books, Chicago, IL, 2015
252 pages (paperback), $69.95, ISBN 978-1-933478-88-3
Reviewed by Timothy A. Musty
Painter and Scannapieco wrote Understanding the Mental Health Problems of Children and Adolescents to give social workers a thorough understanding of the scope of mental health issues of children and adolescents. The book outlines ten core competencies guiding the curriculum in social work education The authors point out in the introduction that one in five children experiences some form of mental illness and that one in ten suffers from a serious mental illness that causes impairments in all aspects of life. In addition, they emphasize that, even though the book focuses on diagnosing mental health disorders and providing evidence-based practices for treating each disorder, clinical practice should consider each person's uniqueness, strengths, and needs.
The second chapter describes the ecological systems model for understanding the family system and the efforts of people to adapt to their environment. Systems of care models, such as wraparound services, seek to involve youth and their families as equal partners in the treatment process. School social workers can participate in wraparound teams to help enhance the functioning of children in schools. The authors point out the importance of social workers recognizing their own characteristics or those of their agency that may affect their ability to engage children and families. On the issue of cultural sensitivity, they note the high percentage of minority children in the child welfare system who have mental health problems.
In chapter 3, the authors provide an overview of child development with a table on middle childhood healthy development and adolescent development that offers a quick review for school social workers. Chapters 4 through 15 provide an in-depth analysis of depressive disorders, anxiety disorders, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, conduct...