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Psychology 2320A/B Study Guide - Final Guide: Nocturnal Enuresis, Sluggish Cognitive Tempo, Heritability

Course Code
Jeff St.Pierre
Study Guide

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2042B Study Notes Exam 1
What is Abnormal in Children and Adolescents?
is the ability to successfully adapt in the environment Competence
This varies across culture and ethnicity, so it is important that the traditions, beliefs, languages, and value
systems be taken into account
The study of abnormal child psychology takes into account the degree of maladaptive behaviour as well as the
extent to which they achieve normal development milestones
(broad domains of competence such as conduct and academic achievement) tell how Developmental tasks
children typically progress within each domain as they grow
Conduct indicates how well a person follows the rules of a particular society
Developmental Pathways
In addition to distinguishing between normal and abnormal adaptation, we must consider the temporal
relationship between emerging concerns in early childhood and the likelihood that they will lead to problems
later on
is the sequence and timing of particular behaviours and possible relationships between Developmental pathway
behaviours over time
Maltreatment can significantly alter the child’s initial course of development, resulting in diverse and often
unpredictable outcomes, such as eating, mood, or conduct disorders
is various outcomes may stem from similar beginnings Multifinality
is that similar outcomes stem from different early experiences and developmental pathways Equifinality
Diversity in how children acquire psychological strengths and weaknesses is a hallmark of abnormal child
Defining a psychological disorder involves agreement on particular patterns of behavioural, cognitive, and
physical symptoms shown by an individual
Terms used to describe abnormal behaviour are meant to define behaviour, not to be used as labels to describe
Defining abnormal behaviour requires judgment concerning the degree to which a person’s behaviour is
maladaptive or harmful as well as dysfunctional or impaired
Diversity in how children acquire psychological strengths and weaknesses is a hallmark of abnormal child
psychology. The main contributors to abnormal behaviour may vary within and between individuals with similar
The study of psychological disorders involves attempts to describe the presenting problems and abilities, to
understand contributing causes, and to treat or prevent them

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Developmental pathways help to describe the course and nature of normal and abnormal development;
Multifinality means that various outcomes may stem from similar beginnings, whereas Equifinality means that
similar outcomes stem from different early experiences
Risk and Resilience
A is a variable that precedes a negative outcome of interest and increases the chance that the risk factor
outcome will occur
is a personal or situational variable that reduces the chances for a child to develop a disorder Protective factor
Children who survive risky environments by using their strong self-confidence, coping skills, and abilities to avoid
risk situations are considered resilient
children are also most likely to show sustained competence while under stress, or to rebound to a Resilient
previously healthy level of competence following traumatic or stressful experiences
Children’s normal development may be put in jeopardy because of risk factors, which can include acute, stressful
situations and chronic adversity
Some children may seem to be more resilient in the face of risk factors. Resiliency is related to strong self-
confidence, coping skills, and the ability to avoid risk situations, as well as the ability to fight off or recover from
Children’s resilience is connected to a protective triad of resources and health-promoting events that include
individual opportunities, close family ties, and opportunities for individual and family support from community
The Significance of Mental Health Problems among Children and Youths
About one child in eight has a mental health problems that significantly impairs functioning, which extends to
toddlers and infants
Despite the magnitude of children’s mental health needs today, the youngest one-fourth of the population
(under age 18) have very few treatment options, and those whose options that are available are underfunded
The Changing Picture of Children’s Mental Health
Fewer than 10% of children with mental health problems receive proper services to address impairments related
to personal, family, or situational factors
Those disproportionately afflicted with mental health problems are:
Children from disadvantaged families and neighborhoods
Children from abusive or neglectful families
Children receiving inadequate child care
Children born with very low birth weight due to maternal smoking, diet, or abuse of alcohol and drugs
What Affects Rates and Expression of Mental Disorders?
New pressures and social changes may place children at increasing risk for the development of disorders at
younger ages
Higher rates of fetal survival have contributed to a greater number of children with behaviour and learning
difficulties who require specialized who require specialized services at a younger age

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Poverty and Socioeconomic Disadvantage
Childhood poverty is a daily reality for about 1 in 5 children in the U.S. and is especially pronounced among Native
American/First Nations and African American children
These impairments may be due to the pronounced effect on pre-frontal cortex development stemming from the
social inequalities of chronic poverty
Sex Differences
Boys and girls express their problems in difference ways
Hyperactivity, autism, childhood disruptive behaviour disorders, and learning and communication disorders are
more common in boys than girls; anxiety disorders, adolescent depression, and eating disorders are more
common in girls than boys
Boys show higher rates of early onset disorders that involve some form of neurodevelopmental impairment, and
girls show more emotional disorder, with a peak age of onset in adolescence
Resilience in boys is associated with households in which there is a male role model ; structure; rules; and some
encouragement of emotional expressiveness
Girls who display resilience come from households that combine risk taking and independence with support from
a female caregiver
Race and Ethnicity
Cultural anthropologists today believe that race is a socially constructed concept, not a biological one
This helps explain why very few emotional and behavioural disorders of childhood occur at different rates for
different racial groups
Even though rates of problems are similar, significant barriers remain in access to, and quality and outcomes of,
care for minority children
Misunderstanding and misinterpreting behaviours have led to tragic consequences, including inappropriately
placing minorities in the criminal and juvenile justice systems
Poverty and exclusion from society’s benefits, this is referred to as marginalization
The values, beliefs, and practices that characterize a particular ethnocultural group contribute to the
development and expression of children’s disorders, and affect how people and institutions react to a child’s
Children express their problems somewhat differently across cultures
Because of cultural influences, it is important that research on abnormal child behaviour not be generalized from
one culture to another unless there is support for doing so
Social and cultural beliefs and values are likely to influence the meaning given to these behaviour, the ways in
which they are responded to their forms of expression, and their outcomes
Child Maltreatment and Non-Accidental Trauma
Each year nearly 1 million verified cases of child abuse and neglect occur in the U.S. and more than 80,000 in
Phone surveys of children and youths between 10 and 16 years of age estimate that more than one third of
children in that age bracket experience physical and or sexual assault during these ages
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