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Independent TEENSCREEN Evaluation Research Project 

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Comments and evaluations

Glenna L. Todovich, Paralegal, Louisville and Jefferson County  MSD, Louisville, KY. 502-540-6257, Mother of Aaron David Todovich (6/12/1978-11/14/2003, suicide on Effexor)

“In evaluating the Teen Screen Questionnaire, I find it hard to be objective.  So many of the questions strike a very raw nerve and I find that I must agree with the research done by Ms. Danneman and her group

The majority of the questions are VERY invasive as well as subjective and would not necessarily have anything to do with mental health.  I think the survey on a whole has far too many generalizations to be used as an actual tool and I feel that being administered in a school setting could ostensibly be used as a means of retaliation against a student.  I also find the absence of questions concerning prescription medications (ie, Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) is glaringly obvious.”

 

Diagnostic Predictive Scales   DPS-8 (Youth)

“This interview (survey) is designed to be used by qualified professional as an aid to diagnosis.  It is not a substitute for a thorough clinical evaluation”.

Who is considered a “qualified professional” ?

1. “Who spent the most time taking care of you in the past 3 months?:

Both parents

Mother, only

Father, only

Grandparents (s)

Sister/brother

Aunt/uncle

Foster parents

Other adult”

In the last three months did you have trouble seeing the chalkboard”?

Do you wear glasses”?

Have you seen an eye doctor about this”?

In the last three months….did you have a toothache”?

Have you seen a dentist about this”? 

Is this data pertinent to evaluating mental health?

SECTION A

1.  “In the last three months….have you often felt very nervous and uncomfortable when you have been with a group of children…say, in the lunchroom at school or at a party”?

          A normal feeling for young men and ladies dealing with NORMAL adolescent  behavior.

Have you often felt very nervous when you had to do things in front of  people”?

Normal ---even for adults.

 

SECTION B

For this question, I want to know if you have ever had a sudden attack of feeling very afraid.   In the kind of attack, I mean someone becomes very afraid even though there is nothing around them to frighten them.  Sometimes they feel they can’t breathe…sometimes their heart beats very fast.  The attacks come on very suddenly, then goes away, but they get afraid that the attacks might come back.  In the last three months have you had an attack when all of a sudden you felt you were very afraid or strange”?  

Have you had a time when you were suddenly feeling like you were suffocating or you couldn’t breathe”?

 

SECTION C

In the last three months….Have often worried a lot before you were going to play a sport or game or some other activity Have you had a lot of headaches”?

In my opinion, this is a normal response to a sort of “stressful” situation

In the last three months have you had other aches and pains”? 

In my opinion, this is one of many VAGUE questions which could have many responses; including but not limited to a number of  physical causes.

Are you the kind of person who is often very tense, or finds it very hard to relax”? 

Another vague “catch all” type of question.

 

SECTION D

 Some young people have times when one thought comes into the mind over and over again. When people have these thoughts they usually get upset, because the thoughts are strange.  No matter how hard they try the thoughts keep on coming back.

In the last three months…was there a time when you washed your hands  or body over and over again or changed your clothes many times each day because you thought they were dirty”?

Have you often felt you should check on things over and over again? For example:  checking that the front door is locked…or the stove is turned off or that something else was done, though you knew it had been done”?

            This is NOT a question to be put on a general “mental health” survey, it is far too suggestive and I feel it should only be posed in a one on one session by a physician or health professional.

 11. “In the last three months….have you often worried that things you touch are dirty or have germs”?

 With all the advertising that is prevalent on TV. and everywhere else today are we not products of our environment??

 12.“Have you had any other thoughts that kept coming into your mind over and over again that you couldn’t get rid of”?

Another way too vague question that should be administered  in one on one session

In the last three months…

Have you done things like counting, checking, washing, over and over again because you like to do these things”?

 “In the last three months…

Have you wished you could stop yourself doing things like counting, checking or washing over and over again”?

Have you spent a lot of time each day doing things like counting, checking or washing over and over again…say, for as long as an hour”?

 

SECTION E

 In the last three months…

Has there been a time when nothing was fun for you and you just weren’t interested in anything ”?

Vague

Has there been a time when you had less energy than you usually do”?

 “Has there been a time when you felt you couldn’ t do anything well or that you weren’t as good-looking or as smart as other people”?

Haven’t we ALL felt this way at some point in our “growing up” process?

In the last three months…

Has there been a time when you thought seriously about killing yourself”?

This is definitely a one on one question that should be discussed with ONLY a physician or mental health professional.

Have you tried to kill yourself in the last year”?

Same as above

Has there been a time when doing even the little things made you feel really tired”?

TOO VAGUE.

   18.   “In the last three months…

Has there been a time when you couldn’t think as clearly or as fast as usual”?

TOO VAGUE

            I have just asked you about the last three months.  Now, I want you to think about the last year”.

 

  SECTION F

 The next questions are about you use of alcohol-beer, wine, wine coolers, or hard liquors like vodka, gin or whiskey.  Each can or bottle of beer, glass of wine or wine cooler, shot of liquor, or mixed drink with liquor it it counts as one drink.

In the last year…Have you had six or more drinks”?

I believe the majority of teens experiment at parties, with friends, etc.  Is this an indicator of mental health problems????

Did you get in trouble with the police when you were drunk or because you had been drinking”?

See above response..

In the last years…

Did you get into arguments with your family or friends because of drinking”?

See above.

Did you miss school to go drinking or because you were hung over”?

I fail to see how this group of questions is an indicator of mental health problems and again I feel these type of questions can better be answered in a one on one session.  As general questions, they could be misleading and a definite invasion of privacy.

 

SECTION G

In the last year…

Have you used marijuana six or more times”?

This would be a normal affirmative as it is a likely chance that many “normal” adolescents today would use marijuana six times or more in a year.

Did you miss school to use marijuana or because you were too high

      on marijuana to go to school”?

            Do you really think you would get an honest answer on these drug questions?

In the last year…

Did you get into arguments with your friends and family because you were using marijuana”?

See above

 

SECTION H

 

Have you used any opiates to get high.  This includes things like codeine, Demerol, morphine, percodan, methadone, Darvon, opium, Delaudid, Talwin and so on”.

“In the last year…

Have you used any of these to get high””?

See above

Have you used any kind of hallucinogen? This includes LSD or “acid”, mescaline, peyote, DMT, psilocybin and so on.  Have you used one of these?

 In the last year…

“Have you used stimulants or amphetamines…like speed, diet pills, Benzedrine, methamphetamine or anything like that to get high”?

“Have you used cocaine or ‘crack’?”

In the last year…Have you used heroin”?

Have you used PCP or “Angel Dust”?

 “In the last year…Have you used ecstasy”?

Have you used any inhalants…like glue, cleaning fluid, gasoline or paint to get high”?

What about prescription drugs which, considering the recent findings by the FDA regarding antidepressants and teen suicide, I feel are absolutely necessary questions.

 

How often did your parents feel worried or concerned about the way you were feeling or acting?

A lot of the time

Some of the time

Hardly ever

Not at al

Don’t all parents worry about their children and aren’t these normal adolescent concerns?

Were they worried or concerned because of:

You were feeling anxious or worried?

You were feeling sad or depressed?

Problems with your behavior?

Problems with alcohol or drugs?

Other things you did?

How often did you parents get annoyed or upset with you because of the way you were feeling or acting?

A lot of the time

Some of the time

Hardly ever

Not at all

Were they annoyed or upset because of:

You were feeling anxious or worried?

You were feeling sad or depressed?

Problems with your behavior?

Problems with alcohol or drugs?

Other things you did?

How often were you not able to do things or go places with your family because of the way you felt or acted?

A lot of the time

Some of the time

Hardly ever

Not at all

 

Were you not able to do things or go places because:

You were feeling anxious or worried?

You were feeling sad or depressed?

Problems with your behavior?

Problems with alcohol or drugs?

Other things you did?

 

How often did the way you were feeling or acting make it difficult to do your schoolwork or cause problems with your grades?

A lot of the time

Some of the time

Hardly ever

Not at all

Did you have problems with your schoolwork or grades because of:

You were feeling anxious or worried?

You were feeling sad or depressed?

Problems with your behavior?

Problems with alcohol or drugs?

Other things you did?

 

How often were your teachers annoyed or upset with you because of the way you were feeling or acting?

A lot of the time

Some of the time

Hardly ever

Not at all

  

How often did the way you were feeling or acting make you feel bad or feel upset?

A lot of the time

Some of the time

Hardly ever

Not at all

 

Did you feel bad or upset because of:

You were feeling anxious or worried?

You were feeling sad or depressed?

Problems with your behavior?

Problems with alcohol or drugs?

Other things you did?

 

Have you been to see someone at a hospital, or at a clinic because of the way you were feeling or acting?

yes

no

 

Did you go to see someone because of:

You were feeling anxious or worried?

You were feeling sad or depressed?

Problems with your behavior?

Problems with alcohol or drugs?

Other things you did”?

                 END

I  feel there are a LOT of privacy issues in these questions which would be better administered in a one on one setting.

 

Fair Use Notice Title 17 U.S.C. section 107 of the US Copyright Law.
This material is distributed without profit.
 
 

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