Enjeux actuels de l'évaluation psychologique dans la clinique de l'enfant et de l'adolescent: vers une approche intégrée de la psychopathologie

Translated title of the contribution: Current stakes in psychological assessment of children and adolescents: Towards an integrative approach of psychopathology

G. Michel, V. Aubron, D. Purper-Ouakil, S. Cortese, M. C. Mouren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This article will discuss different theoretical approaches and methods of data collection in view of the psychological assessment of children and adolescents. There are generally two different approaches; one being the single case study using a subjective method and the second consisting of clinical interviews and psychological tests using the objective method. In our opinion, psychological assessments should rely on two main axes. The first should be based on an updated knowledge of psychopathology, integrating new models and scientific findings with the methodology of Evidence Based Medicine (EBM). The second axis should be concerned with the psychological assessment combining subjective and objective methods. For example, the use of standardized tools such as scales or projective tests is essential to understand the interaction between multiple clinical variables influencing child psychopathology as well as to understand family and social interactions. The diversity of risk factors (e.g. family, personality, social, biological factors, etc.), implicated in mental illness shows the multi-dimensional aspects of psychopathology. Different theoretical approaches have been developed to study psycho-pathological mechanisms (neuro-psychology, psychoanalysis, biological psychiatry approaches, etc.). Therefore an integrative approach of psychopathology using different models and factors is needed to understand psychiatric disorders. A thorough psychological assessment is essential to the comprehension of mental illness in children and adolescents and is the first step to tailor treatments to individual needs. In order to answer these objectives, psychological assessments must be multi-modal, multi-disciplinary and multi-source: - Multi-disciplinary: For a better clinical assessment, psychologists and psychiatrists will need information from other professionals such as speech therapists, psychomotor therapists, neurologists... - Multi-modal: This aspect is crucial in clinical assessment. It characterizes all tools that clinicians will use in their assessment practice: Psychological tests, clinical interviews or clinical scales. - Multi-source: A comprehensive assessment of child and adolescent psychopathology includes assessments of different informants and sources (family, teachers...). These different approaches will be discussed in the perspective of the actual stakes of psychological assessment in children and adolescents. Developing integrative assessment approaches seems to be a promising field for the future in mental health services, allowing the tailoring of specific therapeutics for each child.

Translated title of the contributionCurrent stakes in psychological assessment of children and adolescents: Towards an integrative approach of psychopathology
Original languageFrench
Pages (from-to)509-515
Number of pages7
JournalAnnales Medico-Psychologiques
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2008


  • Adolescence
  • Child
  • Clinical interview
  • Evaluation tools
  • Integrative approach
  • Psychological assessment

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Psychology(all)


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