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Explain why a developmental assessment of children and adolescents is important.

Discussion: Working With Children and Adolescents Versus Adults

Infant, childhood, and adolescent development are a continual interplay between nature (genetic or biologic predisposition) and nurture (environmental experiences). The nature/nurture continuum and debate will always be a part of your career as a PMHNP.  Knowing common developmental milestone is important in the role as a child provider. Not only is it essential to the diagnostic process, but it is also important to the interdisciplinary interactions with other mental health professionals. The study of normal developmental processes, however, is only one tool that allows the mental health professional to understand the child being evaluated. There are many different assessment instruments and interviewing techniques that PMHNPs can have in their toolkit when working with children and adolescents.

In this Discussion, you examine the differences in assessing and treating children and adolescents versus adults. You take into consideration your own clinical experiences, as well as your experiences in your clinical rotation, and the information from the readings thus far.

Post your answers to the following:

  • Explain why a developmental assessment of children and adolescents is important.
  • Describe two assessment instruments and explain why they are used for children and adolescents but not adults.
  • Describe two treatment options for children and adolescents that may not be used when treating adults.
  • Explain the role parents play in assessment and treatment.
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