Decision making about children's therapy

Tammie Ronen*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


This paper presents the problematic features of making decisions related to the assessment and treatment of children, highlighting the importance of the diagnostic procedure in determining the need and type of therapy. Difficulties in assessing children are discussed in terms of the reliability of assessors, evaluation techniques, information sources, and children's functioning in different settings. Unique, complicating childhood characteristics are depicted: most disorders' normative basis in children's development; rapid, continuous change; gaps between cognitive, affective, behavioral, and chronological developmental stages; and high spontaneous recovery rates. Within an emphasis on the therapist's need for self-awareness and flexibility of child assessment and treatment methods, decision-making guidelines to evaluate the need for therapy are suggested and case examples are provided.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)259-272
Number of pages14
JournalChild Psychiatry and Human Development
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jun 1993


  • Assessment
  • children
  • diagnosis
  • treatment decision-making


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