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HUS140 Child & Adolescent Behavioral Health Care: Background Research

Reference Sources

Reference sources, such as encyclopedias, handbooks and manuals, are great options to do some background reading on your topic. These sources will give you broad background information on your topic.

Reference sources do not represent original research like journal articles. These sources can help you quickly learn about your topic before you dive into the research literature.

Why Use Books?

Why use medical and health science textbooks and references books?

Use textbooks and reference books to answer background questions. These types of questions are broad and when answered provide basic foundational knowledge. Background questions often begin with "what" or "when".


  1. What is the diagnostic criteria for the condition I'm researching?
  2. What are the most common treatments?
  3. What are common related conditions?
  4. What is the history of the condition and its treatment?

Reference Databases

Reference databases are a good starting point. All of these sources are credible and authoritative. When searching for reference sources, keep your keywords simple. For instance, search mental health or Bipolar Disorder I.

Reference Books

These books are available in the library on the reference shelf or onine.  Ask a staff member if you need help finding them.  Here is a list of other psychology books.