Integrative consensus: A systematic approach to integrating comprehensive assessment data for young children with behavior problems

Elisa S. Shernoff*, Carri Hill, Barbara Danis, Bennett L. Leventhal, Lauren S. Wakschlag

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Comprehensive assessments that include parents and teachers are essential when assessing young children vulnerable to emotional and behavioral problems given the multiple systems and contexts that influence and support optimal development (; ). However, more data complicate clinical and educational decision making given the challenge of integrating comprehensive data. We report on initial efforts to develop and apply Integrative Consensus procedures designed to synthesize comprehensive assessment data using developmentally informed guidelines. Mother-teacher dyads (N = 295) reported on disruptive behavior in a sample of 295 low-income 3- to 5-year-olds; one-third referred for disruptive behaviors, one-third nonreferred with behavioral concerns, and one-third nonreferred. Two clinicians trained in Integrative Consensus procedures independently applied the framework, with findings highlighting that children identified as disruptive by Integrative Consensus ratings plus mother or teacher ratings significantly predicted behavior problems and impaired social skills. Children identified as disruptive via Integrative Consensus were 4 times more likely to be rated as impaired by their mother at follow-up than by mother or teacher report. Reliability estimates were high (κ = 0.84), suggesting that the method has promise for identifying young children with behavior problems while systematically integrating comprehensive data.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)92-110
Number of pages19
JournalInfants and Young Children
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 1 2014


  • Behavior problems
  • Clinical judgment
  • Comprehensive assessments
  • Multicontext assessments

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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