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Biological Factors. Important Questions Why are biological factors important? Under which conditions is a person most likely to develop schizophrenia? What is the relationship between brain damage and emotional or behavioral disorders? How can temperament affect student-teacher interaction?

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biological factors

Biological Factors

Important Questions

Why are biological factors important?

Under which conditions is a person most likely to develop schizophrenia?

What is the relationship between brain damage and emotional or behavioral disorders?

How can temperament affect student-teacher interaction?

What are the educational implications of biological factors?

the appeal of biological factors as a causal explanation
The Appeal of Biological Factors as a Causal Explanation
  • Knowledge of biological factors has its implications in prevention and medical treatment.
  • However, biological factors affect behavior only in interaction with environmental factors.
  • Genetics influences both desirable and undesirable behavior.
  • Examples of behaviors with strong genetic components:
    • criminality, attention deficits, hyperactivity, schizophrenia, depression, Tourette’s disorder, autism, and anxiety.
  • Behavioral characteristics are determined by both genetic and environmental factors (i.e., social learning).
    • In the case of schizophrenia:
      • The closer the relationship between the child and the schizophrenic relative, the higher the risk for developing this condition.
      • However, once one has a schizophrenic relative, the risk for schizophrenia is determined by stressful environment or drug use.
  • Disorders arising from genetic factors may be curable.
  • Implication for genetic factors:
    • Genetic factors influence many emotional or behavioral disorders;
    • However, the role that genetics plays is still unclear.
brain damage dysfunction
Brain Damage Dysfunction
  • The brain can be traumatized before, during, or after birth.
    • Prolonged high fever, infectious diseases, hypoxia, traumatic brain injury (TBI), and structural anomalies resulting from diseases or drugs are all potential causes of brain damage.
  • Brain damage can cause:
    • Learning disabilities, hyperactivity, impulsivity, inattention, and juvenile delinquency, as well as other disabilities.
brain damage dysfunction6
Brain Damage Dysfunction
  • Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI):
    • Injury to the brain caused by external force.
    • Not a result of a congenital condition.
    • Involves a diminished or altered state of consciousness.
    • Neurological or neuro-behavioral dysfunction results from the injury.
  • The effects of TBI depend on:
    • Which parts of the brain are damaged,
    • The severity of the damage,
    • The age of the individual when the damage occurs, and
    • The medical, psychological and educational treatment that is received.
brain damage dysfunction7
Brain Damage Dysfunction

Possible effects of TBI:

  • Inappropriate manners
  • Easily tired, frustrated, and/or angered
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Failure to understand humor and social situations
  • Anxiety
  • Sudden and swings of exaggerated mood
  • Perseveration
autistic spectrum disorder
Autistic Spectrum Disorder
  • Disorder caused by brain dysfunction.
  • Nature of the biochemical irregularity is unknown.
  • Major feature is qualitative impairment in social interaction.
  • The spectrum of autistic disorders includes:
    • Asperger Syndrome
    • Rett’s Disorder
    • Childhood Disintegrative Disorder
    • Pervasive Developmental Disorder-Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS)
malnutrition allergies and other health related issues
Malnutrition, Allergies, and Other Health-Related Issues
  • The result of malnutrition, in the long run, is retardation of brain growth, irreversible brain damage, mental retardation. Apathy, social withdrawal, and school failure are expected.
  • Hypoglycemia, mineral deficiencies, and allergies can influence behavior.
  • There is little evidence to suggest that nutrition and allergies cause emotional or behavior disorders.
  • Individuals tend to have predictable reactions to different circumstances.
  • Temperament explains many of these reactions.
  • Temperament is determined by biological and environmental factors.
  • Nine categories of temperamental characteristics (Thomas, Chess, & Birch, 1968).
    • Activity level
    • Rhythmicity
    • Approach or withdrawal
    • Adaptability
    • Intensity of reaction
    • Threshold of responsiveness
    • Quality of mood
    • Distractibility
    • Attention span and persistence
implications for educators
Implications for Educators
  • Educators must understand the role of genetics and environmental factors in forming the child’s misbehavior.
  • Medicine can play a significant role in the treatment of the disorder; however, treatment should be monitored using direct observations of the student.