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Child and Youth Studies
Rebecca Raby

Child and Youth Studies CHYS 1F90 Dr. J. McNamara Fall/Winter 2012 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 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 Why do some children cope well with adverse environmental conditions while others do not? Children have a Psychological Toolkit 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 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 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 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
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