Mental Health Symptom Profiles of Adolescents in Foster Care (2021)
Type of ContentJournal Article
PublisherSpringer Science and Business Media LLC
- Health: Journal Articles 
The article describes an investigation of the nature, patterns and complexity of carer-reported mental health symptoms for a population sample (N = 230) of adolescents (age 12–17) placed in long-term foster and kinship care following chronic and severe maltreatment. Two cluster analyses of Child Behaviour Checklist DSM-oriented (CBCL-DSM) and Assessment Checklist for Adolescents sub-scale scores of clinical cases were performed. The first yielded 8 profiles of attachment- and trauma-related symptoms as measured across eight ACA scales (N = 113 cases). The second yielded 11 profiles of a broader range of symptoms, as measured across five CBCL–DSM and five ACA sub-scales (N = 141 cases). The symptom profiles derived from both cluster analyses are differentiated more by symptom severity and complexity, than by symptom specificity – suggesting that trauma- and attachment-related symptomatology does not conform to a taxonomy of discrete disorders. Five of the 11 CBCL-DSM/ACA profiles describe severe and complex symptomatology that does not correspond to discrete DSM-5 or ICD-11 diagnoses. Accurate measurement and formulation of clinical phenomena is an essential component of evidence-based psychological and psychiatric practice. Clinicians who carry out mental health assessments of children and adolescents in care should be aware of the limits of the diagnostic classification systems for formulating complex attachment- and trauma-related symptomatology.
CitationTarren-Sweeney M (2021). Mental Health Symptom Profiles of Adolescents in Foster Care. Journal of Child and Adolescent Trauma.
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ANZSRC Fields of Research42 - Health sciences::4203 - Health services and systems::420313 - Mental health services
42 - Health sciences::4206 - Public health::420601 - Community child health
52 - Psychology::5201 - Applied and developmental psychology::520101 - Child and adolescent development
52 - Psychology::5203 - Clinical and health psychology::520302 - Clinical psychology
32 - Biomedical and clinical sciences::3202 - Clinical sciences::320221 - Psychiatry (incl. psychotherapy)
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Alignment of Borderline Personality Disorder and Complex Post-traumatic Stress Disorder With Complex Developmental Symptomatology Lawless J; Tarren-Sweeney, Michael (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2022)Cluster analysis of maltreatment-related mental health symptoms manifested by adolescents in foster care suggest the absence of an underlying taxonomic structure. To test this further, we investigated alignment between ...
Drever S; Nunn K; Jairam R; Tarren-Sweeney, Michael (Elsevier BV, 2022)Children and adolescents (young people) who experience maltreatment early in life and are subsequently placed in out-of-home care (OOHC) are specifically at risk of poor mental health outcomes1 . Though rates vary by ...
Accommodating Complexity: The Need for Evidence-Informed Mental Health Assessments for Children in Out-of-Home Care Hiller RM; Lehmann S; Lewis SJ; Minnis H; Shelton KH; Taussig HN; Tarren-Sweeney, Michael (Elsevier BV, 2022)