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Ch9 mental retardation.docx

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PSYC 3342

Ch. 9 Mental retardation Intelligence and Mental Retardation  Before to mid-19th century, mentally retarded were ignored or feared even by the medical profession  Intellectual disability: significant limitations in intellectual functioning and adaptive behavior that begin before age 18  Pertains to limitations in intellectual functioning/adaptive behavior  Historically, prevailing attitudes have been scorn and rejected  Discovery of feral kids and expansion of humanitarian efforts helped end misunderstanding/mistreatment of mentally retarded  In the mid-19th century Samuel G Howe opened the first humanitarian institution to educate the "feebleminded"  By 1940s parents began to work for human care of their kids  1950: national association for retarded children  1962: president JF Kennedy formed the President's Panel on Mental retardation calling for nation program to combat mental retardation  The eugenics movement, first defined by Sir Francis Galton in 1883, led to the view that individuals with MR were threats to society  G Stanley Hall: kids 8-12 are "mature savages" who need strong social forces to become civilized  Purpose of IQ Tests o Used to identify school kids who might need special help in school  Defining and measuring kid's intelligence and adaptive behavior o Alfred Binet, and Theophile Simon were commissioned by French government to develop the first intelligence tests to measure judgement and reasoning of school kids  The Eugenics Scare o Eugenics: the science dealing with all influences that improve the inborn qualities of a race  Evolutionary degeneracy theory  Pervasive in19th century  Viewed intellectual/social problems of mentally retarded as regression to earlier period in human evolution ("missing link")  J Langdon H. Down: viewed "strange anomalies" as throwbacks to Mongol race  General intellectual functioning i9s now defined by an intelligence quotient based on standardized assessments  MR is not defined solely on the basis of IQ; one's level of adaptive functioning is important o Adaptive functioning: how effectively individuals cope with ordinary life demands and how capable they are of living independently and abiding by community standards  The controversial IQ o IQ is relatively stable over time, except when measured in young, normally developing infants o Mental ability is always modified by experience  Early stimulation programs help kids build on their existing strengths o Are we really getting smarter?  The Flynn Effect refers to the phenomenon that IQ scores have risen about 3 points per decade since IQ testing began o Are IQ tests biased or unfair?  African Americans score about 1 SD below whites  Likely due to economic and social inequality  Clinical Description o Considerable range of abilities and interpersonal qualities o DSM-IV-TR Diagnostic criteria  Significantly subaverage IQ (<70)  Concurrent deficits or impairments in adaptive functioning  Below-average intellectual and adaptive abilities must be evident prior to age 18 o Criteria are arbitrary; a label of MR has serious ramifications, including placement in school learning environment  Degrees of Impairment o Mild MR (IQ of 55-70)  About 85% of persons with MR  Typically not identified until elementary school years  Overrepresentation of minority group members  Develop social and communication skills; possibly moderate delays in expressive language  With appropriate supports, as adults they usually live successfully in the community o Moderate MR (IQ 40-54) About 10% of persons with MR   Usually identified during preschool years  Applies to many people with Down Syndrome  Benefit from vocational training and in adulthood can perform supervised unskilled/semi-skilled work o Severe MR (IQ 25-39)  About 3-4% of persons with MR  Often associated with organic causes  Usually identified at a very young age due to delays in developmental milestones  Between ages 13-15 their academic and adaptive abilities are similar to an average 4-6 year old  May have mobility and health related problems  Need special assistance throughout their lives; adapt well to living in group homes or with their families o Profound MR ( IQ below 20-25)  About 1-2% of persons with MR usually identified in infancy due to marked delays in development and biological anomalies  Learn only the rudiments of communication skills and require intensive training to learn eating, grooming and toileting, dressing behaviors  Required lifelong care and assistance  Almost always associated with organic causes and often co-occurs with severe medical conditions  Levels of needed supports o DSM-IV-TR categories criticized as stigmatizing and limiting because they emphasize degree of impairment o AAIDD focuses on level of support or assistance needed(rather than IQ)  Intermittent  Limited  Extensive  Pervasive o Emphasis on interaction between person and environment to determine level of functioning  Race, sex, and SES prevalence o 1-3% of population (depending on cut-off) o Twice as many males as females  Sex ration decreased to 1.5:1.0 for those with more severe forms o More prevalent in lower SES and in minority groups, especially for mild MR; no differences for more severe levels Developmental Course and Adult Outcomes  Most common cause of severe mental retardation: chromosome abnormalities  Down syndrome is the most common disorder resulting from chromosome abnormalities  Developmental vs. difference controversy: whether kids with MR progress through the same developmental milestones in a similar sequence as other kids o Similar sequence: same order, different rate/upper limit o Similar structure: kids with MR show same behaviors and underlying processes as typically developing kids at same cognitive level o Difference viewpoint: cognitive development of MR kids is qualitatively different in reasoning and problem solving strategies o Familial vs. organically based MR  Motivation o Many kids with mild MR are able to learn and attend regular schools and classrooms o Often susceptible to feelings of helplessness and frustration in their learning environments, causing problems in social and cognitive development, which can lead to low expectations and limited success o With stimulating environments and caregiver support, kids who have mild MR are able to stay on task and develop goal directed behavior  Changes in Abilities o IQ scores can fluctuate in relation to level of impairment and type of retardation o Major cause of MR affects the degree to which adaptive abilities may change o Slowing and stability hypothesis: IQ of kids with down syndrome may plateau during middle childhood, then decrease over time o They may continue to develop in intelligence at a progressively slower rate  Language and Social Development o Follows a predictable/organized course o The underlying symbolic abilities of Down syndrome kids are largely intact o Considerable delay in expressive language development in kids with down syndrome and expressive language is weaker than their recep
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