Stephen R. HOOPER, George W. HYND, Richard E. MATTISON : Child Psychopathology : Diagnostic Criteria and Clinical Assessment

By Stephen R. Hooper, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill ; George W. Hynd, University of Georgia, Medical College of Georgia and Richard E. Mattison, Washington University

Publication Information : Book Title : Child Psychopathology : Diagnostic Criteria and Clinical Assessment. Contributors : Stephen R. Hooper – editor, George W. Hynd – editor, Richard E. Mattison – editor. Publisher : Lawrence Erlbaum Associates. Place of Publication : Hillsdale, NJ. Publication Year : 1992. Page Number : iii.

Preface by the authors

In what some would perhaps consider an historical piece of writing, Smoller ( 1985) wrote a satirical article about the etiology and treatment of childhood. In his treatise, Smoller noted that « Childhood is a syndrome which has only recently begun to receive serious attention from clinicians » (p. 3). With this conjecture, Smoller acknowledged the « growing acceptance of childhood as a distinct phenomenon » and its pending inclusion in the upcoming DSM-IV. Although the focus of this work was on the origins and treatments of this « syndrome, » there was significant discussion regarding its evolution, core clinical components, associated features, and issues surrounding its assessment and diagnosis.

Although tongue-in-cheek, Smoller’s work certainly highlighted several of the most important aspects of any childhood diagnosis (e.g., core components, associated features). Furthermore, although the diagnosis of « childhood » has not really captured the clinical spotlight, the study and classification of childhood developmental and psychiatric disorders truly has progressed in the past two decades. This is particularly illustrated by the fact that the DSM-I and DSM-II devoted precious little space and attention to the conceptualization of psychiatric disorders in children and adolescents, whereas more recent versions of the DSM (DSM-III and DSM-III-R) have devoted a significant amount of energy and space to these diagnostic considerations.

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