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Rapid Assessment of Youngsters

This activity is useful when assessing the behavior, adjustment, and functioning of a young person.  Importantly, it does not represent a thorough diagnostic evaluation and should not be seen as a substitute for careful, professional assessment when a specific youngster is experiencing serious or ongoing difficulties.  It is, rather, only intended to point out those areas in which a child or adolescent is getting along fairly well and those areas where he/she may be having some mild, temporary difficulties.

Use a rating scale from five to one for each item on the list below.  Five equals almost always, four equals usually, three equals sometimes, two equals seldom, and one equals almost never.

Note that the rating process for this activity is not the same as for the earlier activities.  In this activity, each item needs to be evaluated and understood by itself.  A normal, healthy young person would receive all fours and fives.  Concern needs to be raised in any area suggested by an item where the young person’s rating is three or below.  Ratings of two or below or several ratings of three or below begin to suggest the need for more extensive assessment and more traditional therapeutic involvements.

The Young Person

1. Is energetic and interested in what is going on around him/her.

2. Feels attractive.

3. Is relaxed and comfortable with himself/herself.

4. Likes himself/herself.

5. Is self-confident.

6. Has a normal appetite and eating habits.

7. Stays away from drugs and alcohol.

8. Is happy and in a positive mood.

9. Manages his/her temper and anger responsibly.

10. Is honest and truthful.

11. Is a good student.

12. Feels successful.

13. Likes school.

14. Finishes projects, assignments, or other things for which he/she is responsible.

15. Is well behaved.

16. Is easy for parents, teachers, and other adults to deal with.

17. Is a responsible person.

18. Is a dependable person.

19. Has friends his/her age.

20. Makes good choices when it comes to friends.

21. Gets along well with his/her friends.

22. Follows the rules and goes along with what is expected of him/her at school and at home.

23. Makes friends easily.

24. Is adventurous and willing to try new things.

25. Handles day-to-day stresses and tensions well.

26. Is healthy.

27. Will talk about things with parents or other adults.

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