Handbook of Pediatric Psychology in School Settings

Handbook of Pediatric Psychology in School Settings

Handbook of Pediatric Psychology in School Settings

Handbook of Pediatric Psychology in School Settings

Synopsis

In recent years the escalating costs of health care have caused managed care programs to shift the delivery of pediatric psychological services away from specialized medical centers and into primary care and school settings. One result has been a radical expansion of school psychology into issues of clinical intervention, health promotion, and the assessment of psychotropic medications. School psychologists are now expected to either deliver or (more likely) to provide consultation regarding a wide variety of pediatric psychological services. Because this is a recent phenomenon, very few school-based psychologists or allied health practitioners (school counselors and social workers) have received training in pediatric psychology. The mission of this book is to provide them with a comprehensive and authoritative guide to their newly acquired responsibilities in such areas as psychotherapy, psychopharmacology, health promotion, and prevention of disease. This book is appropriate for anyone concerned with issues of pediatric psychology in school settings: school psychologists, pediatric psychologists, clinical child psychologists, as well as pediatricians and child psychiatrists.

Excerpt

There was a time when pediatric psychology was practiced solely in children's hospitals and in medical centers. Clearly, the field of all applied psychology has changed markedly. Health psychology has changed, in large part, because health care in the United States generally has become expensive due to increased technology and myriad other factors. As a result, there have been increasing efforts to contain and reduce costs associated with health care; particularly to limit the services provided by psychologists, psychiatrists, and other mental health care providers.

Paralleling changes in health care, there have been rapid and important developments within psychology, and there is a clear consensus that psychologists are health care providers regard- less of their field of specialization or venue of practice. In fact, within the field of school psychology, there has been a burgeoning trend toward expanding school psychologists' scope of practice from that of diagnosticians to psychologists who are able to provide an array of services within a school setting. This has been fortuitous, because the changing economics of health care has dictated that children receive many psychological services within the school setting rather than in the traditional venue of the medical setting. Fortunately, the domain of practice in the field of school psychology has expanded to the practice of psychotherapy, psychopharmacology, health promotion, and prevention of disease.

With the improved outcomes of many diseases, that in previous years were given a very guarded prognosis, many pediatric psychologists have had the pleasure of seeing their clients and patients return to school. At the same time, these children have been forced to negotiate a number of other challenges in addition to physical ones, albeit no less important in their overall quality of life and well-being. In part, this has resulted in pediatric psychologists integrating part of their professional practice in school settings, whereas school psychologists have had much to contribute to health care programs, particularly in the assessment of learning and behavioral outcomes, as well as promotion of health and prevention of disease that has largely taken place in school settings. The Handbook of Pediatric Psychology in School Settings aims to capture the spirit of changing health care in this country and the recognition of the expanding role of psychology into health care delivery of children and adolescents. To this end, I undertook the task of assembling the present handbook that is aimed at serving both pediatric and school psychologists, physicians, as well as other professionals who are interested in chronic disease, primary care pediatrics, and health promotion and prevention as these factors impact learning, behavior, and quality of life for children in school settings.

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