Interviewing and Report Writing

  • Barry A. Edelstein
  • Ellen S. Berler
Part of the Applied Clinical Psychology book series (NSSB)


The interview is probably the most widely used assessment procedure, regardless of one’s theoretical orientation (Haynes, 1978: Linehan, 1977; Morganstern, 1976; Swan & MacDonald, 1978), and it is typically the first contact one has with clients and the significant individuals in their environment (Atkeson & Forehand, 1981). The content and standardization of questions, the general style of inquiry, and the way in which one interprets the obtained information frequently vary with the theoretical orientation of the interviewer. Regardless of the orientation of the interviewer, the interview influences the client’s behavior and the consequent analysis and intervention that is based on the information obtained by the interviewer (Haynes, 1978). In short, the interview is the first critical link in the therapeutic process.


Diagnostic Interview Target Behavior Child Psychiatry Behavioral Assessment Apply Behavior Analysis 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Achenbach, T. M. (1978). The child behavior profile: 2. Boys aged 6–11. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology 46, 478–488.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Achenbach, T. M., & Edelbrock, C. (1979). The child behavioral profile: 2. Boys aged 12–16 and girls aged 6–11 and 12–16. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 47, 223–233.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. American Psychiatric Association. (1980). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (3rd ed.). Washington, DC: Author.Google Scholar
  4. Applebaum, S. (1970). Science and persuasion in the psychological test report. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psycology, 35, 349–355.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Atkeson, B. M., & Forehand, R. (1981). Conduct disorders. In E. Mash & L. Terdal (Eds.), Behavioral assessment of childhood disorders. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  6. Bierman, K. L. (1983). Cognitive development and clinical interviews with children. In B. B. Lahey & A. E. Kazdin (Eds.), Advances in clinical child psychology (Vol. 6) New York: Plenum Press.Google Scholar
  7. Bierman, K. L. & Schwartz, L. A. (1986). Clinical child interviews: Approaches and developmental considerations. Journal of Child and Adolescent Psychotherapy, 3, 267–278.Google Scholar
  8. Ciminero, A. (1977). Behavioral assessment: An overview. In A. R. Ciminero, K. S. Calhoun, & H. E. Adams (Eds.), Handbook of behavioral assessment (pp. 3–13). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  9. Ciminero, A., & Drabman, R. (1977). Current developments in the behavioral assessment of children. In B. B. Lahey & A. E. Kazdin (Eds.), Advances in clinical child psychology (Vol. 1, pp. 47–77). New York: Plenum Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  10. Cunningham, C. E., & Barkley, R. A. (1979). The interactions of normal and hyperactive children with their mothers in free play and structured tasks. Child Development, 50, 217–224.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Edelbrock, C., & Costello, A. J. (1984). Structured psychiatric interviews for children and adolescents. In G. Goldstein & M. Hersen (Eds.), Handbook of psychological assessment (pp. 276–290). New York: Pergamon Press.Google Scholar
  12. Edelbrock, C., Costello, A. J., Dulcan, M. K., Kalas, R., & Conover, N. C. (1985). Age differences in the reliability of the psychiatric interview of the child. Child Development, 56, 265–270.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Edelstein, B. A., Brasted, W., Detrich, R., DiLorenzo, T., Knight, J., Rapp, S., Scott, O., & Sims, C. (1982, August). Sequential dependencies among clinical interviewer and interviewee behaviors. Paper presented at meeting of the American Psychological Association, Washington, D.C.Google Scholar
  14. Endicott, J., & Spitzer, R. L. (1978). A diagnostic interview: The schedule of Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia. Archives of General Psychiatry, 35, 837–844.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Evans, I., & Nelson, R. (1977). Assessment of child behavior problems. In A. R. Ciminero, K. S. Calhoun, & H. E. Adams (Eds.), Handbook of behavioral assessment (pp. 603–681). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  16. Feighner, J. P., Robins, E., Guze, S. B., Woodruff, R. N., Winoker, G., & Munoz, R. (1972). Diagnostic criteria for use in psychiatric research. Archives of General Psychiatry, 26, 57–63.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  17. Felton, J., & Nelson, R. O. (1984). Inter-assessor agreement on hypothesized controlling variables and treatment proposals. Behavioral Assessment, 6, 199–208.Google Scholar
  18. Ferster, C. (1972). An experimental analysis of clinical phenomena. The Psychological Record, 22, 1–6.Google Scholar
  19. Ferster, C. (1979). A laboratory model of psychotherapy: The boundary between clinical practice and experimental psychology. In P. Sjoden, S. Bates, & W. Dockens (Eds.), Trends in behavior therapy (pp. 23–28). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  20. Ferster, C. (1981). A functional analysis of behavior therapy. In L. Rehm (Ed.), Behavioral therapy for depression (pp. 181–196). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  21. Gelfand, D. M., & Hartmann, D. P. (1975). Child behavior analysis and therapy. New York: Pergamon Press.Google Scholar
  22. Goldstein, A. P., Heller, K., & Sechrest, L. (1966). Psychotherapy and the psychology of behavior change. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  23. Goodman, J. D. (1972). The psychiatric interview. In B. B. Wolman (Ed.), Manual of child psychopathology (pp. 743–765). New York: McGraw Hill.Google Scholar
  24. Gross, A. M. (1984). Behavioral interviewing. In T. Ollendick & M. Hersen (Eds.), Child behavioral assessment: Principles and procedures (pp. 61–79). New York: Pergamon Press.Google Scholar
  25. Handler, L., Geston, A., & Handler, B. (1965). Suggestions for improved psychologist-teacher communication. Psychology in the Schools, 2, 77–81.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Hartmann, D., Roper, B., & Bradford, D. (1979). Some relationships between behavioral and traditional assessment. Journal of Behavioral Assessment, 1, 3–21.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  27. Hawkins, R. P. (1985). Selection of target behaviors. In R. D. Nelson & S. C. Haynes (Eds.), Foundations of behavioral assessment. New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  28. Hay, W. M., Hay, L. R., Angle, H. V., & Nelson, R. O. (1979). The reliability of problem identification in the behavioral interview. Behavioral Assessment, 1, 107–118.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Haynes, S. N. (1978). Principles of behavioral assessment. New York: Gardner Press.Google Scholar
  30. Haynes, S., & Jensen, B. (1979). The interview as a behavioral assessment instrument. Behavioral Assessment, 1, 97–106.Google Scholar
  31. Herjanic, B. (1984). Systematic diagnostic interviewing of children: Present state and future possibilities. Psychiatric Developments, 2, 115–130.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  32. Herjanic, B., & Campbell, W. (1977). Differentiating psychiatrically disturbed children on the basis of a structured interview. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 5, 127–134.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  33. Herjanic, B., & Reich, W. (1982). Development of a structured psychiatric interview for children: Agreement between child and parent on individual symptoms. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 10, 307–324.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  34. Herjanic, B., Herjanic, M., Brown, F., & Wheatt, T. (1975). Are children reliable reporters? Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 3, 4–48.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  35. Herskowitz, J., & Rosman, N. P. (1982). Pediatrics, neurology, and psychiatry—Common ground. New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  36. Hodges, K., Kline, J. Stern, L. Cytryn, & McKnew, D. (1982). The development of child assessment interview for research and clinical use. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 10, 173–189.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  37. Hodges, K., McKnew, D., Cytryn, L., Stern, L., & Kline, J. (1982). The Child Assessment Schedule (CAS) diagnostic interview: A report on reliability and validity. Journal of the American Academcy of Child Psychiatry, 21, 468–473.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  38. Holland, C. J. (1970). An interview guide for behavioral counseling with parents. Behavior Therapy, 1, 70–79.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  39. Kanfer, F., & Saslow, G. (1969). Behavioral diagnosis. In C. M. Franks (Ed.), Behavior therapy: Appraisal and status (pp. 417–444). New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar
  40. Kaplan, B. L. (1971). Counseling with mothers of exceptional children. Elementary School Guidance and Counseling. 6, 32–36.Google Scholar
  41. Kazdin, A. (1977). Assessing the clinical or applied importance of behavior change through social validation. Behavior Modification, 1, 427–452.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  42. Keefe, F. J., Kopel, S. S., & Gordon, S. B. (1978). A practical guide to behavioral assessment. New York: Springer.Google Scholar
  43. Kovacs, M. (1978). Children’s Depression Inventory (CDI). Unpublished manuscript, University of Pittsburgh.Google Scholar
  44. Krasner, L. (1958). Studies of the conditioning of verbal behavior. Psychological Bulletin, 55, 148–170.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  45. Kratochwill, T. (1985). Selection of target behaviors: Issues and directions. Behavioral Assessment, 7, 3–5.Google Scholar
  46. Leitenberg, H., Burchard, J. D., Burchard, S. N. Fuller, E. J., & Lysaght, T. V. (1977). Using positive reinforcement to suppress behavior: Some experimental comparisons with conflict. Behavior Therapy, 8, 168–182.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  47. Lennard, H., & Bernstein, A. (1960). The anatomy of psychotherapy: Systems of communication and expectation. New York: Columbia University Press.Google Scholar
  48. Linehan, M. (1977). Issues in behavioral interviewing. In J. D. Cone & R. P. Hawkins (Eds.), Behavioral assessment: New directions in clinical psychology (pp. 30–51). New York: Brunner/Mazel.Google Scholar
  49. Livesley, W. J., & Bromley, D. B. (1973). Person perception in childhood and adolescense. London: Wiley.Google Scholar
  50. Mash, E., & Terdal, L. (1981). Behavioral assessment of childhood disturbance. In E. Mash & L. Terdal (Eds.), Behavioral assessment of childhood disorders (pp. 3–76). New York: Guilford Press.Google Scholar
  51. Meyer, V., Liddell, A., & Lyons, M. (1977). Behavioral interviews. In A. R. Ciminero, K. S. Calhoun, & H. E. Adams (Eds.), Handbook of behavioral assessment (pp. 117–152). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  52. Miller, G., Galanter, E., & Pribram, C. (1960). Plans and the structure of behavior. New York: Holt, Rinehart, & Winston.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  53. Moore, M. V. (1969). Pthological writing. Asha, 11, 535–538.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  54. Morganstern, K. P. (1976). Behavioral interviewing: The initial stages of assessment. In M. Hersen & A. S. Bellack (Eds.), Behavioral assessment: A practical handbook (pp. 51–76). New York: Pergamon Press.Google Scholar
  55. Morganstern, K. P., & Tevlin, H. E. (1981). Behavioral interviewing. In M. Hersen & A. S. Bellack (Eds.), Behavioral assessment: A practical handbook (2nd ed., pp. 71–100). New York: Pergamon Press.Google Scholar
  56. Ollendick, T., & Cerny, J. (1981). Clinical behavior therapy with children. New York: Plenum Press.Google Scholar
  57. Orvaschel, H., Puig-Antich, J., Chambers, W., Tabrizi, M. A., & Johnson, R. (1982). Retrospective assessment of prepubertal major depression with the Kiddle-SADS-E. Journal of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry, 21, 392–397.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  58. Puig-Antich, J., & Chambers, W. (1978). The Schedule for Affective Disorders and Schizophrenia for school-aged children. New York: New York State Psychiatric Institute.Google Scholar
  59. Puig-Antich, J., Blau, S., Marx, N., Greenhill, L. I., & Chambers, W. (1978). Pre-pubertal major depressive disorder: A pilot study. Journal of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry, 17, 695–707.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  60. Puig-Antich, J., Chambers, W., Halpern, F., Hanlon, C., & Sachar, E. J. (1979). Cortisol hypersecretion in prepubertal depressive illness: A preliminary report. Psychoneuroendocrinology, 4, 191–197.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  61. Puig-Antich, J., Perel, J. M., Lupatkin, W., Chambers, W., Shea, C., Tabrizi, M. A., & Stiller, R. L. (1979). Plasma levels of imipramine (IMI) and desmethylimipramine (DMI) and clinical response in prepubertal major depressive disorder: A preliminary report. Journal of the American Academy of Child Psychiatry, 18, 616–627.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  62. Reich, W., Herjanic, B., Welner, Z., & Gandhy, P. R. (1982). Development of a structured psychiatric interview for children: Agreement on diagnosis comparing child and parent interviews. Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology, 10, 325–336.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  63. Rotter, J. B. (1954). Social learning and clinical psychology. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  64. Santostefano, S. (1971). Beyond nosology: Diagnosis from the viewpoint of development. In H. E. Rie (Eds.), Perspectives in child psychology (pp. 130–148). Chicago: Aldine Atherton.Google Scholar
  65. Sattler, J. M. (1982). Assessment of children’s intelligence and special abilities (2nd ed.). New York: Allyn & Bacon.Google Scholar
  66. Skinner, B. F. (1957). Verbal behavior. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  67. Speilberger, C. (1973). State-Trait Anxiety Inventory for Children. Palo Alto, CA: Consulting Psychological Press.Google Scholar
  68. Strunk, W., Jr., & White, E. G. (1959). The elements of style. New York: Macmillan.Google Scholar
  69. Stuart, R. B. (1970). Trick or treatment: How and when psychotherapy fails. Campaign, IL: Research Press.Google Scholar
  70. Swan, G. E., & MacDonald, M. C. (1978). Behavior therapy in practice: A national survey of behavior therapists. Behavior Therapy, 9, 799–807.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  71. Tallent, N. (1976). Psychological report writing. New York: Prentice-Hall.Google Scholar
  72. Truax, C. (1966). Influence of patient statements on judgments of therapist statements during psychotherapy. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 22, 335–338.PubMedCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  73. Van Houten, R. (1978). Normative data: A comment. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 11, 110.Google Scholar
  74. Wahler, R., & Cormier, W. H. (1970). The ecological interview. A first step in out-patient child behavior therapy. Journal of Behavior Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry, 1, 279–289.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  75. Watt, A. F. (1944). The language and mental development of children. Boston: D. C. Heath.Google Scholar
  76. Weins, A. N. (1976). The assessment interview. In I. B. Weiner (Ed.), Clinical methods of psychology. New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  77. White, M. A. (1975). Natural rates of teacher approval and disapproval in the classroom. Journal of Applied Behavior Analysis, 8, 376–378.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  78. Wiener, N. (1948). Cybernetics: Or control and communication in the animaland the machine. Cambridge, MA: M.I.T. Press.Google Scholar
  79. Williams, J. L. (1981, May). Coming under the client’s control, A radical behavioral view of verbal behavior in counseling processes and techniques (Part 2). Paper presented at meeting of the Association for Behavior Analysis, Milwaukee.Google Scholar
  80. Yarrow, L. (1960). Interviewing children. In P. H. Musson (Eds.), Handbook of research methods in child development (pp. 561–602). New York: Wiley.Google Scholar
  81. Yarrow, M. R., Campbell, J. D., & Burton, R. V. (1970). Recollection of childhood: A study of the retrospective method. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 35 (5, Serial No. 138).Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1987

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barry A. Edelstein
    • 1
  • Ellen S. Berler
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyWest Virginia UniversityMorgantownUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyFlorida State UniversityTallahasseeUSA

Personalised recommendations