Informed consent, assent, and the counseling of adolescent minors

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2001-01-01
Authors
Brunscheen, Summer
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Altmetrics
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Research Projects
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Psychology
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Abstract

Informed consent for psychotherapy, a legal term and ethical construct, is composed of tenets that require deliberate thought and action on the part of a therapist to ensure the client's voluntary participation. This term and related counseling processes are based upon such concepts as: the therapist's judgment about a potential client's cognitive competencies, and provision of sufficient information for the client to make an informed decision about participation, and voluntariness. When a counselor or therapist considers initiation of treatment with an adult, an individual over 18 years of age, these issues are complex. However, extra consideration is warranted when obtaining informed consent for treatment with adolescent minors. There are numerous legal and research controversies pertinent to whether and what procedures should be used to solicit adolescent informed consent or assent for psychological interventions. This national survey addressed questions such as: How frequently is informed consent or assent sought from an adolescent client? What information is provided in asset versus informed consent? What are the reasons cited by practitioners for seeking informed consent or assent? This study sampled internship training center supervisory psychologists who provide services to adolescents, and it assessed current assent and informed consent practices with adolescent minor clients. The present study replicated and extended a similar prior study (Beeman & Scott, 1991).

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Psychology
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