Date of this Version
Kingery, J. N., Grover, R. L., Hansen, D. J., Nangle, D. W., Suveg, C. & Mychailyszyn, M. P. (2015). Developmentally sensitive implementation of core elements of evidence-based treatments: Practical strategies for youth with internalizing disorders. the Behavior Therapist, 38, 116-122.
MANY TREATMENT APPROACHES for psychological disorders among children and adolescents are downward extensions of adult treatment models. According to Barrett (2000), when treatments for childhood disorders are based on cognitive behavioral models of adult disorders, clinicians may make inaccurate assumptions, such as viewing children as “little adults,” thereby failing to adjust treatment terminology for children and ignoring contextual factors such as families and peers. Subscribing to adult models may also result in a lack of awareness of research findings in the field of developmental psychology (e.g., cognitive abilities, social skills, emotion regulation) and, consequently, implementation of treatment strategies in a similar manner across levels of development (e.g., assuming all children possess the same level of meta-cognitive skills). As Kingery and colleagues (2006) emphasize, simply utilizing a treatment that has been developed for youth is not sufficient. Particularly when implementing manual-based CBT for youth with internalizing disorders, clinicians must be knowledgeable, creative, and flexible, taking each child’s individual cognitive, social, and emotional skills into consideration to provide the most developmentally appropriate intervention.