Adult debates on the development of children

Child Psychology and Psychiatry Review
December 4, 1998

C hild Psychology and Psychiatry Review publishes high-quality articles from a number of child-related disciplines, drawing material from all areas of child research and welfare. It also includes sections on points of law, a research digest, and a small section of book reviews.

In the first three issues, the role of play in childhood dominates two of the issues. Many different aspects of play are discussed. For example, there are articles which address issues of "play" from an anthropological perspective, a child psychotherapist's perspective, its role in education and therapy, and the more general role of play in the child's life as a whole. Of course, articles addressing one topic from diverse perspectives can be found in many review journals but this journal differs from the others in covering some of the more practical applications of child research.

For instance, in one issue there are two articles on developing an autism and assessment service. In the first, the authors outline the multidisciplinary assessment process before examining and evaluating the service and the families' responses. In the second, the first 81 cases are analysed. A description of the children's assessment in terms of their educational, behavioural and medical features is given. Together, the articles explain the practical applications of assessing children for autism and the implications that correct assessment has for research on autism.

The section on points of law in each issue gives a summary of cases and their outcomes, as well as commentaries on recent legal developments concerning child mental health, and is relevant to anyone interested in child development and welfare. I found this a useful pointer to new research across the spectrum of child psychology and psychiatry.

Other sections include child psychiatrists' responses to Robert Goodman's article "Who needs child psychiatrists?", and Goodman's replies. Though other academic journals also have a forum for debate, the difference here is that readers appear genuinely interested in debating the issues rather than using the section as a way of publishing their ideas without being subjected to peer review.

Child Psychology and Psychiatry Review has much to recommend it. There are a number of interesting sections not found in other similar journals, and the journal's interdisciplinary nature, giving equal coverage to both applied and research aspects of child psychology and psychiatry, is both welcome and refreshing.

Janine Spencer is lecturer in cognition and cognitive development, London Guildhall University.

Child Psychology and Psychiatry Review

Editor - L. Dowdney and Stephen Scott
ISBN - ISSN 1360 6147
Publisher - Cambridge University Press
Price - £35.00 (individuals); £70.00 (institutions)

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