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Psychology 2320A/B Lecture Notes - Etiology, Longitudinal Study, Monoamine Oxidase A

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Elizabeth Hayden

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19/11/2012: Lecture 1
The Developmental Psychopathology Perspective on Abnormal Child Psychology
Normal and abnormal behaviour are (usually) on a shared continuum
Main difference between disorder and normal behaviour persistence (e.g. does it happen all
the time?)
The Developmental Psychopathology Perspective on Child Psychopathology
Developmental pathways:
o Life course perspective
o Precursors and consequences of disorder
Resilience is as important as understanding vulnerability
Holisitic views of children: factors that are both intrinsic and extrinsic in the child
Directedness of children: children are active agents in their own environments
Lawfulness of behaviour: some sort of consistency (lawful relationships) in behaviour from
childhood to adulthood
Homotypic continuity: behaviour (i.e. disorder) remains stable in form over time
Heterotypic continuity: behaviour (i.e. disorder) changes its form across time
Equifinality: multiple pathways to a common final outcome
Mulltifinality: diverse outcomes result from a similar point of initiation
What Constitutes Abnormal Behaviour?
o “Abnormal” implies away from the norm of average
o “Normal” implies no significant deviation from average
o Many traits are distributed on a normal bell shaped curve
o Those falling at the extremes are considered statistically abnormal
o Some extremes are adaptive
o Distributions are continuous, so divisions are arbitrary
o Does not tell us what traits to measure to decide what is abnormal
Personal Distress/Impairment:
o If you experience distress or impairment, you have a disorder
o Fails to consider effects of behaviour on other people
o Could pathologize normal emotional reactions
o Depends on insight
Social nonconformity: abnormality defined by failure to conform to social standards
o Cultural relativity
o Changing social standards
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