A Handbook for the Assessment of Children'sBehaviours
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More About This Title A Handbook for the Assessment of Children'sBehaviours


This ground-breaking book takes a new approach to the assessment of behaviour in children and adolescents.  Written by an expert author team, combining one (JW) with higher qualifications in general practice, child neuropsychiatry, and child and adolescent psychiatry, with one (PH) with higher qualifications in medicine, paediatrics and child and adolescent psychiatry, the book draws on many thousands of multidisciplinary case discussions, at Great Ormond Street Hospital, in the Children's Multispecialty Assessment Clinic in North London, and in private practice.

The book is ideal for the busy mental health professional working in a small team. Organised to allow rapid look-up of behaviours with comprehensive lists of their possible causes, it synthesizes research evidence and clinical experience. The authors interpret behaviour broadly, including not just voluntary actions, but also actions whose voluntary nature is questionable (such as drop attacks, personal preferences, and pseudobehaviours). They also include problems that lead to referral through their behavioural manifestations (e.g. aggression, anxiety, or a poor relationship with mother). Overall, the book spans the behavioural, cognitive, social and emotional problems of children and adolescents.

With the child and family in the room, and with detailed school reports and psychometric results available, it is usually possible to identify causes of symptoms that are specific to the child and his environment, and which can guide behavioural, cognitive, social, and family interventions.

Purchasers of the book will also be entitled to a Wiley Desktop Edition—an interactive digital version featuring downloadable text and images, highlighting and note taking facilities, in-text searching, and linking to references and glossary terms.


Dr Jonathan Williams is a Consultant Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist and Visiting Research Associate at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College, London.  He is also an Honorary Consultant at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, London.

Professor Peter D. Hill is a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist.  He is also Honorary Consultant at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children, and Visiting Professor at St George’s Hospital Medical School, London.  He is Consultant Medical Advisor at Huntercombe Manor Hospitals and Visiting Consultant at the Moor House School for Children with Specific Speech and Language Disorders and Visiting Consultant for the Brain Injury Unit at The Children’s Trust, Tadworth Court.


Introduction 9

Single Symptoms 11

Multiple symptoms occurring together 21

Cognition 27

General temporal patterns 61

Motor (General) 85

Motor (Specific Behaviours) 101

Sensory 121

Communication 143

Social 167

Home 189

School 215

Play 221

Preferences (General) 227

Preferences (Specific) 243

Breaking rules 249

Anger 285

Anxiety 295

Negativeness 309

Languor 321

Digestive / excretory 327

Bizarre experiences and ideas 343

Contradictions 353

Appendix A: Functional analysis 365

Appendix B: Further investigations / assessments 371

Appendix C: Syndromes and partial syndromes 383

Appendix D: DSM-IV behavioural syndromes 385

Appendix E: Catalogue of causes 393

Appendix F: Forms for assessment or monitoring 399

Appendix G: Mini-physical examination 409

Appendix H: Confidentiality 413

Glossary and index 417

References 577


“The addition of the Wiley Desktop edition is an excellent way of making the handbook more portable and accessible. The functionality works on a variety of computers, tablets and phones and this makes this handbook all the more appealing to the modern clinician.”  (Child & Adolescent Mental Health, 1 August 2013)

“This is a very good resource for professionals working in child and adolescent psychiatry. It provides a very thorough and well-organized guide for the assessment of patients with a wide range of complaints . . . The
book offers a unique method to reach an accurate diagnosis, amenable to interventions from a biopsychosocial perspective.”  (Doody’s, 1 February 2013) 

"Overall, this is a fantastic resource for anyone that assesses behaviour in children and adolescents. It is comprehensive and covers an amazing variety of topics in an easy to understand, concise way. This is a handbook that covers the depth and breadth of information that is normally reserved for textbooks and encyclopaedias. A clearly well researched and thought through book that would be valuable on the bookshelf or computer of any health professionals that work with children (the review copy has already been borrowed by colleagues and purchased as a leaving present). In particular the handbook would be relevant for child and adolescent psychiatrists, clinical and educational psychologists, paediatricians and CAMHS professionals both working long-term within the field or whilst still in training. The addition of the Wiley Desktop edition is an excellent way of making the handbook more portable and accessible in any setting. The functionality works on a variety of computers, tablets and phones and this makes this handbook all the more appealing to the modern clinician."(Dr Mark Lovell, Consultant Child and Adolescent Learning Disability Psychiatrist, South Tees LDCAMHS, Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust)

“A comprehensive and wide ranging book, exploring children’s behaviours from the routine to the quirky, set within a sound developmental framework. The layout with excellent cross-referencing and explanations is accessible and will be of interest to many clinicians working with children, young people and their families.” (Caryn Onions, Psychotherapist, Oxford, UK)

"This is an incredibly useful book. It has a comprehensive list of presentations that frequently leave clinicians wondering what is going on. Beneath each entry lies a treasure trove of sophisticated, up to date evidence about conditions, blended with astute clinical wisdom." (Professor Stephen Scott, Professor of Child Health and Behaviour, Institute of Psychiatry, London)