Coimbra University, Portugal
Current Approaches to Screening, Formulation and Treatment of Pediatric Psychological Distress

Carlos Carona completed his PhD in clinical psychology at the University of Coimbra, Portugal. He is a consultant clinical psychologist at the Cerebral Palsy Association of Coimbra, and researcher at the Cognitive and Behavioral Center for Research and Intervention, Faculty of Psychology and Education Sciences, University of Coimbra. He also delivers CBT training in postgraduate courses. His clinical and research interests include third-wave CBT, paediatric psychology and developmental psychopathology.

This symposium is aimed at the presentation of empirically-validated and clinically-relevant guidelines for improving both the screening procedures and the psychological interventions targeting the psychological distress of children and adolescents. The symposium endorses a theoretical framework that is embedded in the macro-paradigm of Developmental Psychopathology, thus assuming that the investigation of non-normative populations is likely to improve our understanding of normative developmental processes and elucidate decisive components of adaptation that may not be typically evident. The symposium encompasses four communications, addressing the utilization of quality of life measures for psychological screening in pediatric populations, as well as the applications of third-wave cognitive behavior therapy models to the formulation and treatment of child and adolescent psychological distress. The first communication will discuss the implications of using a quality of life index measure to detect pediatric patients at increased risk for psychological distress, following the presentation of a quantitative study using the decision trees statistical analysis; the second communication will explore the links between mindful parenting and adolescents’ self-compassion and psychological adjustment, while discussing the observed results in an empirical quantitative study using a community sample; the third communication will address emotional regulation mechanisms in children and adolescents with obesity, with the discussion of an empirical quantitative study on psychological (in)flexibility and its links to body shame experience and quality of life outcomes; the fourth and last oral communication will broadly illustrate the applications and adaptations of compassion-focused therapy for use with children and adolescents.