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Lecture 3

PSYCH 2AP3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 3: Lamarckism, Enuresis, Child Psychopathology

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Geoffrey Hall

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Historical Influences
Early explanations of psychopathology:
Adult focused: high child mortality rates and problems in children were not thought as different from adults
Demonology : the belief that abnormal behaviour stems from evil spirits
Somatogenisis : Greeks, Romans, Islamic physicians held this view
oHippocrates (5th century BC) first described depression
Depression results from an excess of black bile
Greek world for black bile = melancholia (sadness)
Mood depends on a balance of the 4 humours (bodily fluids): blood, phlegm, yellow bile, black
Early explanations of psychopathology by the 17th century: understood that children needed nurturance,
nourishment and instruction
18th century children were seen as:
oSeen as stained with original sin
oInnately innocent
oBlank slates on which experience writes on a.k.a. tabula rasa
19th century: assumption that inheritance and degeneration that began in childhood and lead to irreversible
oChild psychopathology should be focused on to explain adult illness
oAdvancement with classification system by Kraeplin 1883
Symptoms tend to group into clusters and or syndromes  there is a biological basis for behaviour
Set the foundation for our modern classification systems
Distinguished between manic depression and dementia praecox (Schizophrenia)
Spoke out about barbarous treatment in asylums, fought against alcohol, capital punishment,
against the imprisonment of mentally ill, rejected psychoanalytic theories instead collected
clinical data and focused on neurological basis
Cons: Lamarckist views of evolution – E.g.. Giraffe got long neck from stretching, eugenics, racial
Toward the end of the 19th
oStudy of youth still lagged behind adult studies
oSome childhood disorders identified: mental retardation received attention
oProgress made on conceptualization of Etiology
Early 20th century: saw social reform movements and industrialization
oMental hygiene movement and child guidance movement
Mental Hygiene by Clifford Beers: improved treatment of those with mental illness
Child Guidance by Lightmer Witmer: established first clinic for educational problems and set up
residential school
Later child guidance institutes addressed antisocial behaviours and emotional problems
influenced by Freud’s ideas
First child psychology clinics: start child treatment by using diagnostic assessment and
individual tutoring, then shifted to a Freudian model  focusing on personality
G. Stanley Hall :
oEarly scientific study of youth and help established the American Psychological Association
oInvited Freud to bring his ideas to the forefront
Sigmund Freud and Psychoanalytic Theory:
oSome disorders caused by psychological events
oChildhood is a critical time period
oBased on the study of adults, unconscious childhood crisis was the cause of abnormal behaviours
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