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Lecture 2

PSYCH 2AP3 Lecture Notes - Lecture 2: Thurston High School Shooting, Chronic Poverty, Fluoxetine

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Geoffrey Hall

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Who is making judgements about child’s behaviour?
Referrals to Children’s Mental Health services usually come from parents, teachers (schools)
and/or family physicians
Often disagreement exists among adults as to the “problem”
Special case: self-referral when a quiet girl killed gerbil – teachers and parents shocked
In May of 1998, Kip Kinkel, age 15, shot and killed his parents and the next day went to school
and opened fire on fellow students. Kip, a paranoid schizophrenic,
o3rd grade: special education – problems in school and
o4th grade: learning disability
o7th grade: mail order book on bomb making
o8th grade:
Start of gun collection and involvement in the legal system (rock throwing
Starts counselling: no evidence of though disorder, diagnosed with depression
started on Prozac
End of 8th grade, suspended for kicking fellow student in the head
oJune ‘97: Dad lets Kip buy a hand gun and can only use it when his had is present
oSummer of ’97: Kip finishes treatment
oStarts high school
oGoes off Prozac after 3 months
oFather buys him another gun (semi automatic)
oKips gives a speech in class about how to build a bomb
oMay 20 ’98: Kip expulsed for having a stolen hand gun at school (arrested) and escorted
off out school)
Returns home and kills his parents
oMay 21 ’98: Kip goes to school armed with 3 guns and a hunting knife and kills 2
students and injures 25
Changing Views of Abnormality
Past behaviours that were considered abnormal are now considered normal
oE.g. late 1800s: masturbatory insanity, nail biting, excessive intellectual thinking in young
Changing views are a consequence of:
oPreschool expulsion
oOff-label use of psychotropic meds
Particular atypical antipsychotics used to treat bipolar and schizophrenia
Some atypical antipsychotics act as mood stabilizers
Indicated for use in teens but can be prescribed “off-label” to children
Side effects: restlessness, sedation, insomnia, dizziness, weight gain, risk of
Long-term effects in children not well studied
How Common are Problems?
Prevalence: a measure of the total number of cases and it depends on:
oThe definition of the disorder and the population examined
oThe population examined  prevalence may be based on clinical or community samples
5.4 to 35.5% of youth aged 4-18 have problems
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