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Lecture - 1 Introduction to Developmental Psychopathology

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Psychology 2320A/B
Elizabeth Hayden

Introduction to Developmental Psychopathology; Conceptual Models of Psychopathology & Risk The developmental psychopathology perspective on abnormal child psychology • Normal and abnormal behaviour are (usually) on a shared continuum o Only if they act abnormally on a continual basis, in all situations, too anxious to leave parents ever • Developmental pathways o Life course perspective  What happens to certain disorders in children as they grow over time? o Precursors and consequences of disorder  Things that predict and are outcomes of disorders • Understanding resilience is as important as understanding risk o The presence of positive outcomes despite exposure to negative risk factors • Holistic views of children o Interested in factors that are extrinsic and intrinsic in understanding child outcomes o Look at all the outcomes, situations (whole) o Look at language development, IQ and autistic abilities in order to fully determine view • Directedness of children o Characteristics of kids determine the amount of attention what kind of support they receive o Look at situational factors which are associated with negative disorders, however must look at negative outcome actually causing certain negative situational factors (important, relevant to other things) • Lawfulness of behaviour o Expect behaviour over time will be lawful o Can reliably identify certain behaviours with certain outcomes – lawful  Stress  depression o Stability across time – lawful  High anxiety children will continue to show anxiety into their adulthood o Homotypic continuity – behaviour (e.g., disorder) remains stable in form over time  For ex, T1 depression  T2 depression o Heterotypic continuity – behaviour changes its form across time  For ex, T1 anxiety  T2 depression  Increased risk for other disorders in the future, from having a certain disorder as an adolescent • Equifinality – all caterpillars look different but turn into the same butterfly – in relation to kids – those with certain similar starting points are all linked to depression o i.e., genetic risk, early environmental risk, cognitive risk, parenting risk – all lead to depression – the same outcome o Therefore not one cause to certain outcomes, hard to measure in retrospect o Makes longitudinal studies extremely important • Multifinality – two plants start the same but end at different points – same genetics different environment o Poor early parenting leads to depression, leads to anxiety, leads to extreme behaviour o Serotonin disorder leads to depression, anxiety, aggression, etc. o Early risks can lead to multiple negative outcomes in combination or singular o Makes longitudinal studies extremely important as well How do we decide whether someone has a disorder? • Bunch of different examples, from monsters under bed to can’t open mouth to breathe in elevator, must define disorder and must look at whole picture in-depth and how it affects the person What constitutes abnormal behaviour? • Personal distress/impairment o If you experience distress or impairment, you have a disorder o Problems:  Fails to consider effects of behaviour on other people  Could pathologize normal
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