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Developmental Perspective. children with psychological disorders vary in symptoms and causes But all have experienced some problem in development. Assumptions:. Developmental processes are important Context is important

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Developmental Perspective

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Developmental perspective

Developmental Perspective

  • children with psychological disorders vary in symptoms and causes

  • But all have experienced some problem in development



  • Developmental processes are important

  • Context is important

  • Multiple factors interact in shaping adaptive and maladaptive development

    • i.e. causal factors are COMPLEX

Developmental pathways

Developmental Pathways

  • Refers to the sequence and timing of behaviors, and the relationship between them over time

  • Two types of developmental pathways:

    • multifinality: similar early experiences lead to different outcomes

    • equifinality: different early experiences lead to a similar outcome

Developmental pathways cont

Developmental Pathways (cont.)

Figure 1.1 (a) Multifinality: Similar early experiences lead to different outcomes; (b) Equifinality: Different factors lead to a similar outcome

A general developmental framework

A general developmental framework

  • Biological context – organic influences

  • Individual context – variables within the person

  • Family context – parent/child relationships, family system, parenting strategies, etc.

  • Social context – broad social relationships

    e.g. peer relationships, school

  • Cultural context – larger social and cultural factors

    e.g. social class, ethnicity, nationality, etc.

Developmental perspective

  • Insert developmental framework picture here

What is the first question to ask

What is the first question to ask?

  • vignettes

Developmental psychopathology

Developmental psychopathology

Domains of development

Domains of development


Genetics – interactions between genes and environment

“niche-picking” – children increasingly shape their own environments

temperament types

“goodness of fit” – meshing of temperament & demands of the environment

Domains of development cont

Domains of Development cont’


magical thinking

e.g. play shark/am a shark?

understanding of causality

cognitive distortions

Domains of development cont1

Domains of Development cont’

Emotional Development

emotion expression – influenced by caregivers

social referencing – a way to judge meaning

emotion understanding

emotional regulation

Domains of development cont2

Domains of Development cont’


patterns of attachment – quality of caregive/infant relationship


insecure – ambivalent (resistant)

- avoidant

Thought questions related to development

Thought Questions related to development

  • How do you think family and social influences change over the course of development?

  • What is your opinion of the macro model presented? Is there anything missing from the model or anything that you might remove?



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