Childhood emotional and behavioral problems have increased over the past several decades, and the consequences of these behaviors have an impact on the entire family. The role of the family in these problems is clearly an important consideration for the child psychiatrist. A specific understanding of how the family's spiritual worldview or religious convictions impact clinical problems has been underappreciated. The religious orientation or spirituality of parents influences various aspects of family life, from ideals about marriage and family to specifics regarding child rearing. This article reviews the goals of assessment of family religious or spiritual worldview, which include empathically engaging the family of a child in treatment, developing a formulation of how these spiritual factors impact general family functioning, and determining whether the family's religion and spirituality are a resource for treatment or a contributor to disorder. The spiritual and religious assessment of the family facilitates the development of a treatment plan.
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