For even the most successful series of textbook editions, there comes a time for an ending and a new beginning. This book is just such a new beginning. Jerry Wiener's Textbook of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry was first published in 1991 as a joint project between the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and American Psychiatric Press. After more than 15 years and two subsequent editions, a fresh look at the field of child mental health was needed. I have preserved his vision of a clinically focused textbook that would encompass the state of the art and the science and that would be useful to trainees and practitioners in a variety of specialties while completely overhauling the organization of chapters, the selection of chapter authors, and the internal structure of each chapter. In that process, I have been able to apply what I have learned in 30 years as a training director and child and adolescent psychiatry division head and 10 years as Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Throughout the preparation of this book, I was constantly reminded of the teaching and example of Peter B. Henderson, M.D., and Richard L. Cohen, M.D. In addition, for nearly 35 years, countless teachers and colleagues from child and adolescent psychiatry, psychology, and social work; my residents and fellows (many of whom are now experts and academic leaders); and the children and parents who are our patients have been unfailingly generous with their experiences and insights. This text aims to communicate the clinical art and wisdom of child psychiatry, tied firmly to the science of our clinical disciplines. Each chapter highlights what we know about evidence-based practices in assessment and treatment. Sections titled “Research Directions” point toward what we need to know.

This text aims to be both scholarly and practical. It covers the most important topics in a format that is complete but efficient for the mental health professional in training or the clinician seeking an update. It is designed to be used as a core text for child and adolescent psychiatry fellowship training and will serve also as a reference for practicing child and adolescent psychiatrists, pediatricians, family physicians, general psychiatrists, child neurologists, psychologists, advanced practice nurses, and psychiatric social workers. As textbooks get bulkier and heavier and trainees and clinicians become increasingly mobile, access to the full-text electronic version of this book via Psychiatry Online (at Web site www.PsychiatryOnline.com) is a great bonus. Published by APPI as a companion volume, the Study Guide to Child and Adolescent Psychiatry: A Companion to Dulcan's Textbook of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry contains questions and answers based on this text.

In designing this “new and improved” text, I benefited greatly from the suggestions made by users and reviewers of The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, 3rd edition, that Jerry Wiener and I edited. Especially valuable was Marty Drell's vision of the ideal text for child psychiatry fellows.

Some features of the table of contents remain from this book's predecessor. Chapters are organized by sections that include assessment, categories of diagnoses, and types of treatment, as well as special topics and special clinical circumstances. The 4 chapters in Part I, “A Developmental View of Assessment,” address the clinical aspects of evaluating youth ranging in age from infancy to late adolescence. Part II, “Diagnosis and Approaches to Assessment,” covers in 7 chapters the variety of methods and perspectives that may be considered in the clinical evaluation. The following five parts include 17 chapters on DSM-IV-TR disorders and 1 chapter on childhood obesity. These chapters have a consistent structure that includes definition and clinical description, diagnosis, epidemiology, comorbidity, etiology and risk factors, prevention, course and prognosis, evaluation, the variety of treatments, and research directions. Part VIII, “Special Topics,” includes 9 chapters on evidence-based practice, child abuse and neglect, HIV, bereavement, cultural issues, suicide, gender and sexual orientation issues, aggression and violence, and the fundamentals of genetics as relevant to child mental health. The 6 chapters in Part IX, “Special Clinical Circumstances,” cover psychiatric emergencies, family transitions, physically ill youth, children at risk due to ill parents, legal and ethical issues, and telepsychiatry. The parts on treatment have been greatly expanded, with 7 chapters on psychopharmacology, 1 chapter on brain-based innovative treatments, and 10 chapters on the range of psychosocial treatments that focus on individuals, families, systemic models of care, and therapeutic milieus. Finally, Part XII includes 3 chapters on consultation and collaboration with schools, primary care practitioners, and the juvenile justice system. Each chapter in the book ends with Summary Points—5 to 10 key learning points or take-home messages.

Of the 65 chapters in this book, only 9 chapters have the same lead author as in the book's predecessor. One more would have been Henrietta Leonard, who agreed to write the chapter on obsessive-compulsive disorder despite her illness. Sadly, she died all too soon. Dan Geller generously agreed to author that chapter. Three authors from the previous book appear here with new or additional chapters. All of the remaining lead authors are new—most from the current generation of senior faculty, ably assisted by their up-and-coming more junior colleagues. In selecting authors, I have celebrated the expertise of a variety of child mental health disciplines. The chapter authors exceeded my high expectations and responded patiently to my detailed copyediting and content suggestions. The most difficult part both for the authors and for me was to distill their great knowledge and expertise into the limited number of pages possible in a single volume.

Additional resources—books and Web sites—are provided for the reader following the Acknowledgments.

Onward and upward!