Child/adolescent interview assignment

Child/adolescent interview assignment

Child/adolescent interview assignment:

Interview Requirements:

Each student will select a child or adolescent to interview (not your own child or a family member). The interview should last approximately 30 minutes for young children and approximately an hour for adolescents. Consider the child/adolescent’s developmental level and life experiences from a multicultural perspective to frame interactions.

Suggestions for interviewing children under 9 years old:

Begin with explaining a bit about the assignment at an appropriate developmental level to obtain assent from the child. In the beginning, focus on building rapport with the child by asking about or commenting on how the child is doing or how he/she appears (i.e. – happy, sad, nervous, wearing red shoes, etc.). Questions to consider during the interview could be related to family, school, or the child interests (e.g. – what he/she likes to play; who he/she likes to play with; where he/she likes to play, etc.). You will also want to consider offering an activity to engage with the child (e.g. – playdoh, art activity, game, etc.).

Suggestions for interviewing children over 9 years old:

You should begin by explaining the interview process, sharing a bit about yourself, and obtaining assent, and then move into questioning. Some suggested questions include:

  1. What is a typical day in your life (at school, at home, with family & friends)?
  2. What is it like to be your age?
  3. What do you think most adults do not know about people your age?
  4. What do you hope your life will be like in 10 years?
  5. What kind of career do you want to have?
  6. Where would you like to go in life?
  7. What are your hopes for the future?

NOTE: The purpose of the interview is to gain experience speaking to and working with a child or adolescent. Keep in mind that this is an interview, not a counseling session. Do not intentionally elicit information that you are not yet trained or properly supervised to address (i.e., asking about drug use or other risky behaviors).

Written Requirements:

Write about your interview in a reflective paper. The paper should be least 7 pages in length (not including the cover page and references) and must follow APA guidelines. At least 4 academic sources must be used to support your discussion. Academic sources include journal articles and text books, not websites or Wikipedia.

Your paper should include the following sections:

  • Section I – Summary:
    A thorough summary of the interview (not a verbatim transcript), which includes questions you asked and any activities you engaged in together.
  • Section II – Reflection:
    Your reflection and reaction to the interview in relation to the child or adolescent’s developmental level. Include the following in your reflection:
  • What did you learn about interviewing a child/adolescent?
  • What was more difficult than you expected?
  • What was easier than you expected?
  • What was it like being in that role?
  • How did you build rapport? How did you know rapport was being built?
  • What cultural differences or shared experiences did you observe? How did that impact your interaction, if at all?
  • What was salient for the child or adolescent from a developmental perspective? Reference at least one academic source to support your observations and discussion related to development.
  • Section III – Theory, interventions, and/or recommendations:
    A discussion that incorporates counseling theory, interventions, and/or recommendations which would be developmentally and culturally appropriate for the age of the child/adolescent you interviewed. Consider any exceptional abilities of the child/adolescent. Reference at least two academic sources for your discussion of theory, interventions, and/or recommendations.


Smith-Adcock, S., & Tucker, C. (2017). Counseling Children and Adolescents. SAGE Publications. Chapters 10, 11, 12, 13, & 14.

Requirements: 7-8 pages


Sample Answer

The next question was on where she hopes to be in ten years. Mary responded that in 10 years, she will be 21 and probably will be in the university. She has a brother who is 23 and in the final year at the university, and she hopes to follow suit. Another question was on the career she aspires to have in the future. Mary says that she wants to be an engineer. Coming from a family of doctors and lawyers, Mary says that her father encourages her to be an engineer, the first in the family. She says that she has been performing well in sciences and mathematics, and she believes her dream of becoming an engineer will materialize. Another question was on her hopes for the future. Mary responded that she hopes to be a successful engineer and also raise her own family. She would like to have four children, one cat, and one dog. She also said that she would love to travel around the world with her children and that when she is old, she wishes to be with her children.

(2320 words)


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