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Child and Youth Studies
Lauren Mc Namara

Child and Youth Studies CHYS 1F90 Dr. J. McNamara Fall/Winter 2011 Who are we talking about? 10% of the population of children and youth Defining “Abnormal” Development What does it mean to have a disorder? “Abnormal” Development  Development that is not within “normal” ranges  Norms are decided upon by development – Example – childhood fantasizing  What is normal development?  When does fantasizing become “not the norm”?  Abnormal development is what characterizes disorder Children and Youth Affected by Mood and Anxiety Disorders General Characteristics in Children and Youth · Poor performance in school · Withdrawal from friends and activities · Sadness and hopelessness · Anger and rage · Poor self-esteem or guilt · Changes in eating or sleeping patterns · Substance abuse · Suicidal thoughts or actions Prevalence  1% of pre-school children  2-3% of elementary school children  6-20% of adolescents What causes Depression  Related to chemical imbalance in the central nervous system – Associated with decreased levels of neurotransmitters such as serotonin  However, it is not simply a lack of serotonin  The exact cause remains elusive Genetic susceptibility and environmental triggers. Why do some children cope well with adverse environmental conditions while others do not?  Children have a Psychological Toolkit (Allows us to cope with trauma, either in a healthy or unhealthy way) – Genetics – Personality – Parents – Friends – Etc. Depression - Treatment  Medicinal – Anti-depressants  Prozac, Paxil, Zoloft etc.  Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitor (SSRI) – Benefits unclear for children and youth  Behavioural – Social support systems (psychologist will go discover what caused depression and help child work through it)  Prevention – Warning signs – Offer your support Child and Adolescent Bipolar Disorder Characteristics  Defined by marked changes in mood and energy  Extreme highs (mania) and lows (depression) Causes  Strong causal links to genetics – Concordance rates:  Monozygotic twins – 55%  Dizygotic twins – 5%  Bipolar is associated with fluctuation in neurotransmitters which affect the hypothalamus (central role in emotion regulation) Bipolar treatment  Medicinal – Mood stabilizers  Lithium, Depakote  Serious side effects – Confusion, lack of coordination, frequent urination, dehydration, thyroid problems  Behavioural – Psychotherapy – Counselling – Behavioural supports When treatment works…..  Cortisol levels (stress hormone)  Each point is a day  This person is cycling every 24 hours  The right reflects lithium treatment Types of Anxiety Disorders  Posttraumatic Stress Disorder  Separation Anxiety Disorder  Obsessive – Compulsive Disorder  Panic Posttraumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) Why does PTSD occur?  May develop after an individual experiences a traumatic event such as; – sexual or physical assault – witnessing a death – natural disaster – terrorist attack Symptoms of PTSD  Reexperiencing the event, which can take the form of intrusive thoughts and recollections, or recurrent dreams  Hypersensitivity, including: inability to sleep, anxious feelings, overactive startle response, hypervigilance, irritability and outbursts of anger Children and PTSD  Young children who have suffered a trauma may: – have dreams of the event which turn into general nightmares – relive the event through play – exhibit physical symptoms, such as headaches and stomachaches Panic Disorders Diagnosing Panic Disorders  the abrupt onset of fear/discomfort peaking in 10 minutes with four or more of the following symptoms: – pounding heart or rapid heart rate – tremor – sensations of smothering or shortness of breath – feeling of choking – chest pain or discomfort – nausea or abdominal distress – dizziness, lightheadedness or faint – fear of losing control or going crazy – fear of dying – hot flashes Causes  Genetics – There may be a genetic predisposition to panic disorders – Higher concordance rates for monozygotic twins  Environment – Stressful life events can trigger panic disorders.  Susceptibility – 'life stressor' act like a thermostat; that is, when st
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