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Book Forum: Child/Adolescent Psychiatry   |    
Childhood Disorders
FRED VOLKMAR, M.D.
Am J Psychiatry 2002;159:887-887. doi:10.1176/appi.ajp.159.5.887
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By Philip C. Kendall. Hove, East Sussex, U.K., Psychology Press, 2000, 229 pp., $49.95; $26.95 (paper).

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This very accessible introduction to the mental health problems of childhood is one of a series of books focused on clinical psychology. Professor Kendall’s volume focuses on several aspects of developmental psychopathology and will be of interest to practitioners and researchers who desire a succinct overview of the current state of knowledge. The volume is clearly intended to strike a balance between the more cursory treatments in traditional textbooks and the more extensive levels of coverage in more specialized texts. It draws on both research and clinical experience, with a laudable emphasis on empirical research, in considering treatment options.

The book is divided into 12 chapters that include a discussion of models of childhood disorders; an overview of etiology, assessment, and treatment; a series of chapters on specific disorders; and, finally, a short summary and questions for the reader’s consideration. The volume is well written and provides an excellent introduction to the field. The chapters are very readable and include references to current work. Coverage is balanced with a discussion of current and, sometimes, past controversies. The chapters on anxiety disorders and depression are particularly well done. Pharmacological management is reviewed as relevant, although, as with the rest of the book, not in great detail.

The limitations of the book stem from its brevity. The attempt at conciseness does, at times, make for some strange bedfellows, e.g., tic disorders, enuresis, and encopresis are all covered in one chapter. The depth of coverage is also understandably limited by the broad scope of the book and the attempt to be comprehensive in terms of topic coverage. The volume will be of greatest interest to beginning students and those who desire a readable introduction to the field.

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