Generalized anxiety disorder is an unreasonable feeling of anxiety, a constant state of fear and uncertainty, and poor physical well-being. The reasons for generalized anxiety disorder in children are ambiguous. These include stressful situations, family or school problems, genetic predisposition, trauma, and changes in biochemistry and overall brain functioning. Generalized anxiety disorder in children may be accompanied by unreasonable physical fatigue, insomnia, irritability, distracted attention, and lack of appetite. When observing such a condition in a child, it is necessary to consult a doctor for a diagnostic evaluation. It is essential because it serves as the basis for choosing a treatment method.
The assessment aims to reveal situations that provoke anxiety in the child and determine how the patient experiences this emotion. The therapist asks the child to describe the various situations in which he or she most frequently experiences anxiety or fear (Ford-Paz et al., 2020). Then he asks the child to describe in detail all the sensations he or she experiences at the time when he or she is afraid, such as abdominal pain, sweating, and dizziness. With this information in hand, the therapist should work with the child and parents to develop a concrete plan of action to allow the child to calm down and keep the anxiety under control.
Various tests are used to assess various psychological states. For example, structured interviews and integration approaches can assess anxiety disorders in children. The interview method refers to dialogical (interactive) techniques that involve the psychologist entering direct verbal-nonverbal contact with the subject (Alexopoulou et al., 2019). The achievement of the best diagnostic results is ensured due to the specific features of this contact relevant to the diagnostic task. The integration approach method consists of conducting formed surveys and structuring information into diagrams. Thus, it is possible to extensively assess the child’s condition and compare his behavioral reactions. When developing tests for children with anxiety disorders, such psychometric methods as multidimensional assessment of child anxiety are used. It is a clinically tested questionnaire designed for both express and structural diagnosis of anxiety spectrum disorders in children and adolescents. This technique is extensive and full-fledged, helping to conduct qualitative research. Accordingly, the approach to evaluating the constructs considered during such tests can be described as comparative. It provides an overview of each of the characteristics of anxiety and a comparison of them to detect anomalies.
The problem associated with assessing people from different social and cultural backgrounds on this topic can be called differences in the understanding of their emotions. Children who grew up in different social and cultural settings may have difficulty standardizing and describing their emotions. This, in turn, may complicate the evaluation procedure. When evaluating adults with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, similar methods are used. Among them, one can cite the conduct of an emotional distress questionnaire and detailed interviews (McLellan et a., 2021). Both methods are used for additional clinical evaluation and monitoring of the effectiveness of treatment. They are very similar, but a detailed interview can provide more information about the patient. Standard testing is used here as a psychometric technique. It is effective because it uses standardized questions and tasks with a certain scale of values.
The analytical method is used as an approach to the evaluation of the tested concepts. It involves working with specific measurements for the correct therapy appointment based on quantitative data (Creswell et al., 2020). In conducting such tests, psychologists may also encounter such a problem as the unwillingness of people from certain social strata to undergo long-term testing. For example, people from poorly educated families do not see the need for a long-term examination, making it difficult for a psychologist to make a diagnosis. As for another topic, namely the assessment of children with attention deficit and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, several other methods may be used. Among them is assessing the level of the child’s intellectual development and the study of the emotional-volitional sphere.
The first approach is used to assess the presence of the disorder’s influence on the child’s intellectual abilities. The second approach describes the nature of violations in the psycho-emotional sphere of the child, which are subject to correction (Narmandakh et al., 2021). The ability test is used as a psychometric technique when developing these tests. It reveals the level of intellectual and emotional abilities and violations in them. The approach to evaluating the studied constructs in this situation is qualitative and aims to give a descriptive characteristic. The problems may be the extreme individuality of the symptoms in each child and the different frequency of their manifestation. In some cases, the frequency of symptoms may affect cognitive abilities, making it difficult to interpret the evaluation results.
In conclusion, many ethical and professional factors influence the interpretation of testing and evaluation data. Among the ethical factors, one can name the individual interest of the psychologist in the good results of his wards. It is essential to evaluate the patient’s results indifferently to achieve the most correct interpretation. As for professional factors, they may be the inability of a person to check testing without errors automatically. This may lead to the need for thorough checks, which may take additional time. Nevertheless, testing is necessary for high-quality diagnosis and treatment despite the influencing factors.
Alexopoulou, A., Batsou, A., & Dragas, A. S. (2019). Effectiveness of assessment, diagnostic and intervention ICT tools for children and adolescents with ADHD. International journal of recent contributions from engineering, science & IT, 7(3), 51-63. Web.
Creswell, C., Waite, P., & Hudson, J. (2020). Practitioner review: Anxiety disorders in children and young people – assessment and treatment. Journal of child psychology and psychiatry, and allied disciplines, 61(6), 628–643. Web.
Ford-Paz, R. E., Gouze, K. R., Kerns, C. E., Ballard, R., Parkhurst, J. T., Jha, P., & Lavigne, J. (2020). Evidence-based assessment in clinical settings: Reducing assessment burden for a structured measure of child and adolescent anxiety. Psychological services, 17(3), 343–354. Web.
McLellan, L. F., Kangas, M., Rapee, R. M., Iverach, L., Wuthrich, V. M., Hudson, J. L., & Lyneham, H. J. (2021). The Youth Online Diagnostic Assessment (YODA): Validity of a new tool to assess anxiety disorders in youth. Child psychiatry and human development, 52(2), 270–280. Web.
Narmandakh, A., Roest, A. M., de Jonge, P., & Oldehinkel, A. J. (2021). Psychosocial and biological risk factors of anxiety disorders in adolescents: a TRAILS report. European child & adolescent psychiatry, 30(12), 1969–1982. Web.