Conflict of interest statement: No conflicts declared.
Annual Research Review: Conceptualising functional impairment in children and adolescents
Article first published online: 8 NOV 2011
© 2011 The Authors. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry © 2011 Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health
Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry
Special Issue: Annual Research Review issue
Volume 53, Issue 5, pages 454–468, May 2012
How to Cite
Rapee, R. M., Bőgels, S. M., van der Sluis, C. M., Craske, M. G. and Ollendick, T. (2012), Annual Research Review: Conceptualising functional impairment in children and adolescents. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 53: 454–468. doi: 10.1111/j.1469-7610.2011.02479.x
- Issue published online: 4 APR 2012
- Article first published online: 8 NOV 2011
- Accepted for publication: 13 September 2011 Published online: 8 November 2011
- Mental health;
- quality of life
Functional impairment is a key factor in the clinical importance of mental health problems in children. Yet, the nature of impairment and criteria for defining and assessing impairment in childhood disorders has been surprisingly overlooked in much of the literature. The current article examines the extant literature on the conceptualisation, nature and assessment of impairment in childhood disorders. Relations between diagnostic symptoms and functional impairment are discussed together with the influence of impairment on diagnostic decisions and prevalence rates. Several factors influencing impairment in childhood such as culture, development and gender are considered. This article concludes with a discussion of the utility of separating judgements of impairment from specific diagnoses, which is proposed for consideration in the forthcoming DSM-5.