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PSYC 412 lecture notes.docx

Course Code
PSYC 412
Melanie Dirks

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PSYC 412: Developmental Psychopathology
Professor: Melanie Dirks (
Lecture Notes (T/TH 16h05-17h25)
Where to Find Answers to Frequently Asked Questions
When is the in-class exam?
How many questions are on the exam?
What chapters do we have to read?
o Check FAQs page (update daily)
o Check lecture notes
Learning Objectives
Broadly define and classify abnormal behavior in youth according to categorical and
dimensional systems
Discuss developmental trends in the onset, course, and form of psychopathology in
Discuss etiological and maintenance models of major psychological disorders of
Describe the diathesis-stress model and apply this general conceptual framework to
the major psychological disorders of youth
Define “evidence-based treatment” in youth mental health and evaluate whether
specific therapies meet these criteria for scientific support
Mash, E.J., & Wolfe, D.A. (2008). Abnormal child psychology (4th ed.). Belmont, CA:
Schedule of Topics
Research Methods and Assessment
Disruptive Behavior
Eating Disorders
Mood Disorders (3 lectures on depression)
Mental Retardation
Dissemination and Prevention
In-class exam (40% each) March 6th
o Make up exam given in class time one week later
1 final exam (60%)

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Exams will consist of multiple-choice questions
Two optional papers
o 10% of grade (in class exam would count 30%, paper would count 10%)
information posted about writing the paper will be posted on WebCT
Exam Policies
Prior to exam
o Review sessions on WebCT prior to exam
o Lecture slides posted
o Remember, only one time for make-up exam, no rescheduling
After the exam
o Grades posted
o May review test during exam review
o Challenge policy
General Course Policies
Confidentiality and respect (can be personal for a lot of people, so be careful what
questions you ask)
o Clinical material
o Atmosphere of learning environment
o Use of scientific methods
o Applied to issues of personal and public health significance
General Structure of Lectures
Definition of disorder
o What is the problem?
o How do we diagnose and measure it?
How do I capture the disorder and help the person that is struggling?
o How common is it? Or is it relatively rare?
o How does the problem vary across the population? (E.g., Do people grow out
of a particular problem?)
Theories of etiology and maintenance
o What causes this problem?
o What keeps it going?
Prevention and treatment
o How can we help?
Developmental Psychopathology
What is abnormal behavior in youth?
o Abnormal, yes or no?
o Normal development as a useful benchmark
o The scope of the problem
Models of etiology and maintenance

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Worrying about your future only if you do it all the time
Eating spiders depends on the culture
Abnormal? It depends.
Abnormal Behavior: Yes or No?
Norm Violation all societies are governed by a certain form of norms (Are we
doing something that be don’t usually do?)
Statistical Rarity
Ex: Charlie (“Numbers” tv show)
High IQ ~180 (very rare for someone to have that high of an IQ)
He’s not suffering any challenges by having a very high IQ
Ex: Sheldon (“Big Bang Theory”)
He is limited based on his high IQ
Abnormal Behavior: Yes or No?
1. Norm Violation
2. Statistical Rarity
3. Personal Discomfort (Is it causing discomfort to the person?)
a. For kids: not only discomfort for them but people around them
4. Maladaptive Behavior
a. Ex: Sheldon interferes with his social life, quits his job at one point
5. Deviation from an Ideal
a. If you’re not at the ideal than that's not normal
b. Helps parents intuitively to operate
Are Parents Pushing Kids Too Hard?
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