The ICF-CY: A Universal Taxonomy for Psychological Assessment

Rune J. Simeonsson and Andrea Lee

in The Oxford Handbook of Child Psychological Assessment

Published in print April 2013 | ISBN: 9780199796304
Published online May 2013 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

The ICF-CY: A Universal Taxonomy for Psychological Assessment

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Assessment is central to psychological practice but has lacked an inclusive framework of health, functioning, and behavior. This chapter advances the International Classification of Functioning, Disability, and Health for Children and Youth—ICF-CY (WHO, 2007) as a new framework for guiding psychological assessment, from conceptualization of needs through documentation of intervention outcomes. In the ICF-CY taxonomy, the components of Body Functions, Body Structures, and Activities/Participation encompass different manifestations of child health and functioning defined in terms of physical, personal, and social dimensions. A unique contribution of the ICF-CY to psychological assessment is inclusion of the component of Environmental Factors for documenting the aspects of the environment that facilitate a child's functioning and participation and those that may serve as barriers. The universal and comprehensive scope of the ICF-CY provides a standard for classifying dimensions of functioning in children with disorders and disabilities complementing diagnostic and etiological information. Assignment of the universal qualifier to codes in the different components of the ICF-CY can indicate the nature and extent of disability or disorder defined in terms of impairments of functioning, activity limitations, or participation restrictions. The use of the ICF-CY is compatible with current psychological assessment methods, tools, and data sources, yielding an efficient profile for summarizing a child's functional status within a child-environment interaction perspective. As a universal tool, the ICF-CY is consistent with perspectives on children's rights and offers a common language for documentation of childhood disability and disorders not only within psychological practice, but also across disciplines and related service systems.

Keywords: children's rights; child functioning; assessment; activity; participation; impairment; disability; environmental factors; ICF-CY

Article.  14068 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Clinical Psychology

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