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Lecture 2

PSY341H5 Lecture 2: PSY341 - Lecture 2

Course Code
Aitken Madison

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Lecture 2: Research, Assessment, Diagnosis, and
Thursday, January 4, 2018
11:31 AM
Quick Review
o Background
Many children + adolescents experience mental health difficulties
~1 in 8 in a given year
In a primary base classroom ~3 kids
Importance of considering dev
Reference to developmental tasks/expectations
Symptoms may present differently in children than in adults
Despite experiencing adversity (that are typically known , some indivs are resilient
Define resilient?
Despite being exposed to risk factors, some children don't develop problems
Successful coping or adaptation
Factors associated w/ resilience?
Resilience factors
Individual's beliefs
Individual talents
Self-esteem + self-confidence
Can be important buffering factor
o Theories & Causes
Developmental psychopathology perspective considers the indiv, their context, + dev
Developmental cascade
Effects from one area of dev/functioning spread to other areas over time
Cascading + snowballing effect
3 main perspectives on abnormal child dev:
Genetic + neurological influences
Cognitive-behavioural influences
Family, social + cultural
Social context
Context in which the indiv grew up
o Don't have to be as specific --> predisposig, preipitatig,…
o Might be good idea to search those articles
find more resources at
find more resources at

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Administrative Questions
o Will be discussion questions that may be on the test/exam
Details of case studies will not be on test/exam
But they provide examples and application, which you may be asked to do on the test
But understand the process of it
Part 1 of Lecture & Discussion: Research
o Objectives
To explain why a scientific approach is important to the study of abnormal child psych
To describe approaches used in abnormal child psych research, including advs disadvs of
To discuss ethical issues when doing research in abnormal child psych
o Outline
Scientific approach (what it is, why it's important)
Research questions + examples
Research designs
Ethical issues
Scientific Approach
o Discussion
Think of 3 things you already know about research in psych + h/ they might apply to
research on abnormal child psych
1: informed consent + assent
o Features of a Scientific Approach
Systematic way to investigate claims
Theories must be backed up by empirical evidence
Replication of results
Ex replication crisis in psych
Ex power pose --> not replicating
Registration reports
Emphasis on being able to replicate in not only small samples, but in larger samples in
diff contexts/situations
Qualification of conclusions
Need to be careful of how much expand on conclusions + extrapolate on them
o Pseudoscience
Extreme side of not using scientific approach
Based on anecdotes/testimonies
Ignores important considerations
Examples of problematic pseudoscientific conclusions
1: sugar worsens ADHD symptoms
Anecdotal evidence relied upon
Parent belief + parent driven
Not demonstrated in well-controlled studies
Possible nocebo effect
find more resources at
find more resources at

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Nocebo --> opposite of placebo
Placebo --> pos or benefit
Nocebo --> unreal neg effect happening
Example: Hoover + Milich --> Effets of Sugar…
Mothers reported
Unobserved observation
Mothers who thought had sugar
More critical
Than mothers not sugar-expectancy group
Parent-expectancy effect
Where parent
2: Vaccines cause autism
1998 publication by Wakefield et al. reported causal association between the
MMR vaccine and autism
Seem to have grown from this
Numerous attempts to replicate it were unsuccessful
Thimerosol removed from vaccines in the U.S. in 1999
No decrease in prevalence of ASD from 1995 to 2007. so no evidence of
thimerosol, causing ASD
Seems to have been researcher bias at work
3: facilitated communication
Video: "Let's Talk about Autism: Matt Brohead
"expert" in field
FC is form of communication arm guided by facilitator to communicate on
keyboard or another sort of communication device
Facilitator always there holding child's arm
No opportunity to use independently by child
Developed … fro Australia and brought to US by Douglas B?
Started to be used in schools + ? Almost overnight
Other autism
Unable to replicate or reproduce the results
Howard C? At Boston Children Hospital
Thought too good to be true
So tried to replicate
Would show facilitator a photograph + show child photograph -->
same one
And ask them what they see?
Everytime would type what they had both scene
In another condition, would show facilitator one thing (key) + child
another (car)
What did you see?
Everytime would type only what the facilitator would
"powerful illusion"
What kind of design features would have stopped this?
Peer-review replication
o Take-away messages
Why are these pseudoscientific conclusions problematic?
find more resources at
find more resources at
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