Children’s Perspectives on Emotions Informing a Child-Reported Screening Instrument

Zieschank, Kirsty L. ORCID: and Machin, Tanya ORCID: and Day, Jamin and Ireland, Michael J. and March, Sonja ORCID: (2021) Children’s Perspectives on Emotions Informing a Child-Reported Screening Instrument. Jounral of Child and Family Studies, 30 (12). pp. 3105-3120. ISSN 1062-1024


To accurately assess children’s emotional and behavioral distress via self-report, we must design instruments that are meaningful to them. This study was an essential first step in co-designing digitally animated assessment items for a new self-reported screening instrument for children: The Interactive Child Distress Screener (ICDS). Twenty children aged five to 11 years participated in semi-structured small group interviews to discuss 15 pairs of contrasting emotional and behavioral constructs (EBC’s). Interview questions were designed to determine how children comprehend, express, and recognize these EBC’s and were correlated to the following five categories to aid the development of the animated items: lexical understanding, visual expression, narrative settings, behavioral actions, and audio cues. Data were analyzed by cataloguing common responses for each EBC across the five categories and examining whether age-specific response typologies were apparent. Except for lexical labeling abilities, results indicated a distinct lack of age-related differences in children’s comprehension of physical and expressive displays of EBC’s between age group levels. This highlights the importance of audio-visual depictions of EBC’s over written text. Typology tables for each of the construct pairs were produced describing corresponding visual demonstrations, narrative contexts, behavioral actions, and audio cues shared by all children. These typologies provide insight into the child’s perspective of socio-emotional and behavioral archetypes and were utilized to inform the development of animated items for a novel screening tool. This study utilized co-design methodologies and produced datasets that may inform the development of mental health tools, interventions, or activities for children concerning emotional and behavioral concepts.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Resilient Regions - Centre for Health Research (1 Apr 2020 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Faculty of Health, Engineering and Sciences - School of Psychology and Counselling (1 Jan 2015 - 31 Dec 2021)
Date Deposited: 02 Mar 2022 03:04
Last Modified: 23 May 2022 06:30
Uncontrolled Keywords: Assessment; Behaviors; Child perspective; Emotions; Screening instruments
Fields of Research (2020): 52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5201 Applied and developmental psychology > 520101 Child and adolescent development
52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5201 Applied and developmental psychology > 520108 Testing, assessment and psychometrics
52 PSYCHOLOGY > 5203 Clinical and health psychology > 520302 Clinical psychology
Socio-Economic Objectives (2020): 20 HEALTH > 2004 Public health (excl. specific population health) > 200409 Mental health
20 HEALTH > 2005 Specific population health (excl. Indigenous health) > 200506 Neonatal and child health
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