Chapter 11: Clinical Child Psychology
1. Why do we study Children?
1. 18-22% of children diagnosed
2. Childhood disorders affect individual, family and society
3. Most adult disorders are rooted in untreated childhood disorders
4. Makes early intervention possible
5. Media attention to abuse, neglect, school violence, and overmedication
2. How is clinical work with children different from adults?
The child is a system with different factors interactive:
1. Children are legally dependent
2. Children lack cognitive development (disclosure is problematic and suggestive)
3. Children are emotionally dependent
4. Children are being socialized
3. How does context affect evaluation and treatment of childhood disorders?
1) Developmental context:
Behaviors may be inappropriate but not uncommon for age and stage
2) Relational context:
Behaviors may be an effort to cope-examine system
4. Some examples of developmental issues to consider
1. Fears – act & stage; creatures and disaster.
2. Control of bodily functions – more boys.
3. Acting out- can be localized.
4. Affective issues made cognitive – anxiety becomes ADHD.
5. Identity issues – adolescent’s need to fit (body image; body changes/out of control,
clashing value systems).
5. What is infant temperament?
Temperament = heredity, neural, and hormonal factors affect response to the
Thomas & Chess identified 3 clusters of infants
Easy babies: adjust easily to new situations, quick to accept routines, easy to
Difficult babies: slow to adjust to new experiences, react negatively and intensely
Slow-to-warm-up babies: somewhat distant at first but become easier over time. 6. How does infant temperament affect child development?
Various studies and theories confirm reciprocity in relationships
-human beings are most reactive to those closest to them (microsystem)
Difficult temperament can be a risk factor unless “goodness of fit”
-Erikson’s mutual regulation; Gottman’s circular causality;
Cycles of interaction can develop that are disordered
-Dysfunctional transactional patterns (family systems them societal -Bowen)
7. Give 2 examples of parent-child interactions that are maladaptive.
Coercion escalation hypothesis of aggressive behavior (some support)
-unmet needs (authoritarian parenting) : breed a need for control
-entitlement (permissive parenting)
Reinforcement trap of parent reinforcing negative behaviors that undermine own
-Thorndike’s Law of readiness
8. What are some major risk factors linked to disorder in youth?
1. Parental conflict -cumulative
2. Parenting style
3. Parental mental health & Stress
4. Adverse childhood experiences
5. Abuse – physical, emotional, sexual
9. What is parenting style and when does it have adverse effects on the child?
Baumrind originally proposed 3 styles based on amount of control used in the
socialization of children
Maccoby added the dimension of reciprocity based on responsiveness
-4 styles emerge from the the two dimensions orthogonally: authoritarian,
authoritative, permissive, and neglectful Parenting style is the child’s experience of the parent.
10. Parenting style- when does it have adverse effects?
Failure to provide structure, rules and make demands – immature, less self-regulation,
High expectations, a lot of direction, child treated as an an adult- do well academically,
poorer social skills, higher rates of depression, anxiety and anger
Fail to provide direction and to meet emotional needs
Inconsistency: between parents and within style
confusion and insecure attachment-anxiety & depression
11. Discuss the ramifications of childhood physical abuse.
-bruises, cuts, burns, fractures, internal injuries that can lead to physical and mental
disabilities or death
-low self-esteem, depression, anxiety, anger, hostility, fear, humiliation, an inability to
express feelings, self-medication
-poor social skills (few friends) , poor cognitive and language skills, distrust of others,
over-compliance with authority figures or aggressive or both
Long term costs: social welfare, foster care, group homes, unemployment, mental
12. Discuss the ramifications of childhood sexual abuse.
Effects apply to the disclosure and intervention as much as to the abuse itself.