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Historical Views of Child Psychopathology. The Emergence of Social Conscience Historically children often ignored or subjected to harsh treatment John Locke (17thC) Jean-Marc Itard (19thC) – treat children with kindness. Historical Views (cont.).

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historical views of child psychopathology
Historical Views of Child Psychopathology
  • The Emergence of Social Conscience
    • Historically children often ignored or subjected to harsh treatment
    • John Locke (17thC)
    • Jean-Marc Itard (19thC) – treat children with kindness
historical views cont
Historical Views (cont.)
  • Early Psychological Attributions (for adults, mostly)
    • emerged in early 1900’s
    • psychoanalytic theory
    • behaviorism laid foundation for studying conditioning and elimination of children’s fears
historical views of child psychopathology3
Historical Views of Child Psychopathology
  • Child psychopathology generally ignored
    • Insanity
    • DSM
      • 1980 version of DSM included a child section
reasons why ignored
Reasons why ignored
  • Psychoanalytic theory
  • Behavior theory
historical views cont5
Historical Views (cont.)
  • Evolving Forms of Treatment based in historical context
    • institutionalized
    • foster families and group homes
    • behavior therapy
evidence for change in perspective on children s problems
Evidence for change in perspective on children’s problems
  • Child-focused journals
  • Divisions of APA
  • Child abuse laws enacted
  • IDEA
change in perspective cont
Change in perspective (cont.)
  • Surgeon General’s report (2001)
    • 1 in 10 has severe mental or behavior problem
    • Only 2 of 10 with problems get help
surgeon general s goals
Surgeon General’s goals
  • Promote public awareness
  • Develop scientifically proven treatments
  • Improve assessment methods
  • Eliminate ethnic/SES disparities in services
surgeon general s goals9
Surgeon General’s goals
  • Train frontline providers
  • Monitor access to mental health services
  • Improve infrastructure of services
  • Increase access to mental health services
reasons why child psychopathology is now receiving more attention
Reasons why child psychopathology is now receiving more attention
  • Problems are common
  • Lifelong consequences
  • Predict adult disorders
  • Few children receive necessary help
  • Develop early intervention programs
  • Legal mandates
defining psychological disorders
Defining Psychological Disorders
  • Determining what is normal and abnormal is an arbitrary process
  • Traditionally defined as a pattern of behavioral, cognitive, or physical symptoms, that is associated with one or more of:
    • distress
    • disability
    • increased risk for further suffering or harm
defining psychological disorders cont
Defining Psychological Disorders (cont.)
  • Many childhood problems best depicted in terms of relationships
  • Labels describe behavior, not the child
  • Problems may be the result of children’s attempts to adapt to abnormal or unusual circumstances
  • Need to consider age/developmental level
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

developmental pathways cont15
Developmental Pathways (cont.)
  • With abnormal child psychology, must keep in mind:
    • there are many contributors to disordered outcomes in each child
    • contributors vary among children who have the disorder
    • children express features of their disturbances in different ways
    • pathways leading to particular disorders are numerous and interactive
issues unique to child psychopathology
Issues unique to child psychopathology
  • Referral process
  • Greist et al.: why do parents bring their children in to clinics?
    • Predicted mother’s ratings of their children
    • Home observation for objective ratings
    • Got ratings of mom’s mood/depression
referral process cont
Referral process cont.
  • Webster-stratton (1988)
    • Questions of interest
    • Method
    • Results
    • implications
temperament reciprocal relationships
Temperament & reciprocal relationships
  • Innate biological factors which influence behavior
    • “easy” temperament
    • “difficult” temperament
      • Easiness to soothe
      • Activity
      • Sociability
  • Parent-child relationships are reciprocal
reciprocal relationships
Reciprocal relationships
  • Pelham et al. (1997)
    • Questions of interest
    • Method
    • Results
    • implications
what affects rates and expression of mental disorders
What Affects Rates and Expression of Mental Disorders?
  • Poverty and Socioeconomic Disadvantage
    • about 1 in 6 children in North America live in poverty
    • poverty is associated with greater rates of learning impairments and academic problems, conduct problems, chronic illness, hyperactivity, and emotional disorders
rates and expression cont
Rates and Expression (cont.)
  • Sex Differences
    • sex differences appear negligible in children under age 3, but increase with age
    • boys > girls in early/middle childhood; girls > during adolescence
figure 1 3
Figure 1.3

Figure 1.3 Normal developmental trajectories of Externalizing problems (top graph) an Internalizing problems (bottom graph) from the Child Behavior Checklist. Ages are shown on the x axis. The y axis represents the raw scores (higher score means more problems). Source: Bongers, Koot, van der Ende, & Verhulst, 2003.

rates and expression cont23
Rates and Expression (cont.)
  • Ethnicity
    • minority children over-represented
    • once other effects (SES, gender, age, referral status) are controlled for, very few differences emerge in relation to race or ethnicity
    • minority children face multiple disadvantages
rates and expression cont24
Rates and Expression (cont.)
  • Ethnicity (cont.)
    • Research has often ignored cultural factors
rates and expression cont25
Rates and Expression (cont.)
  • Culture
    • contributes to development and expression of disorders
    • some underlying processes are similar across diverse cultures
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