This chapter differs from previous chapters in that it focuses on a particular population and age group. Up to this point we left the reader with the impression that the ethical problems and diagnostic and treatment procedures that clinical psychologists have in their arsenal are universally applicable. True, much of what has been said applies to people of different cultures, genders, and age groups; however, there would be many missed chances and ignored responsibilities if we did not acknowledge that different age groups have different needs. In fact, when it comes to licensure as a psychologist, practitioners are usually asked to spell out which age groups they have confidence in working with, and this is documented via academic transcripts and practical experiences with particular populations. Many clinical training programs have specifically designated child clinical program tracks, and there are numerous journals and books that focus on the uniqueness of clinical psychology applications for children. The organization of this chapter will largely mimic (on a smaller scale, of course) the basic organization of this book in that:
We will talk about some unique ethical challenges (in particular issues around consent).
Discuss how normal child development and child psychopathology can be seen on a continuum.
Discuss unique features of the assessment of children.
Survey how interventions can be offered effectively and how well they work.