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Chapter 2

Psychology 2042A/B Chapter Notes - Chapter 2: Developmental Psychopathology, Thomas Kuhn, Stress Management

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Richard Brown

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Psych 2042A
Chapter 2: The Developmental Psychopathology Perspective
Perspectives, Theories, Models
Thomas Kuhn has made us aware that science is completely not objective
scientists have to adopt their own perspectives
when a perspective is shaped, it is called a paradigm
a paradigm typically includes assumptions and concepts
taking a perspective or a stance in one thing have advantages and disadvantages to it
when evaluating
a theory is a formal, integrated set of principles or propositions that explains
phenomena - theories can be tested
examples of theories include: psychoanalytic theory, behavioural/social learning
theories tend to focus on multifaceted dimensions
along with theories, models are presented - a model is a representation or
description of the phenomenon of the study.
interactional models: at the heart of these models are many variables that
interrelate to produce an outcome
example: vulnerability-stress model (diathesis-stress model)
states that psychopathology is the result of a vulnerability factor and a
stress factor
transactional models: basic assumption that development is ongoing, reciprocal
transactions between the individual and the environment context.
system models: incorporate several levels, or systems, of functioning in which
development is viewed as occurring over time as systems interact or enter into
ongoing transactions with each other.
biopsychosocial model: integrates genetic activity, nervous system activity,
behaviour, and several aspects of the environment.
ecological model: situates the individual within a network of environmental
influences and assumes transactions between the person and these influences, as
well as among the several levels of the environment.
Developmental Psychopathology Perspective: An Overview
developmental psychopathology perspective has become influential in the study of
has taken normal development as its subject matter - understands how people
grow and change
interested in the origins and the developmental course of disordered behaviour,
and in individual adaptation and success as well
a systems framework for understanding disordered behaviour in relation to normal
rather than imposing specific theories, it is a way of integrating numerous theories
or approaches around a core of developmental knowledge, issues, and questions

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the developmental perspective is composed of several microparadigms (ie.
biological, behavioural, psychoanalytic, cognitive, systems)
therefore, developmental perspective is a macroparadigm
Concept of Development
development refers to growth, meaning not only bigger, but also better
development happens over time (lifespan)
development is a measure of qualitative and quantitative change
development proceeds in a coherent pattern, that the current situation is dependent on
the past and the future
4 overlapping issues that center around developmental psychopathology:
the search for causal factors and processes
pathways of development
risk and resilience
continuity of problems over time
Searching for Causal Factors and Processes
we realize that a single cause seldom accounts for most psychological or behavioural
important to distinguish between direct effects and indirect effects
path of influence for indirect effects are usually more difficult and complex
mediator: refers to a factor or variable that explains or brings about an outcome, more
specifically by indirect means - crucial to understanding indirect effects and causal
moderator: a variable that influences the direction or strength of relationships
between an independent and dependent variable
distinguish between necessary, sufficient, and contributing causes
necessary cause: must be present in order for the disorder to occur
sufficient cause: can by itself be responsible for the disorder
contributing cause: not necessary nor sufficient - can add or multiply the effects
of the disorder
For example: Down syndrome - genetic influences are necessary and sufficient
Schizophrenia - genetic influences necessary but not sufficient - you need
environmental factors (stressors) to trigger schizophrenia
Pathways of Development
abnormal behaviour doesnʼt arise out of the blue, but emerges gradually as a child
development is characterized as involving progressive adaptations or maladaptations
to changing circumstances - favourable or unfavourable development
one of the main tasks of psychopathology is to describe and understand pathways of
adaptation and maladaptation
According to Compas, Hinden, & Gerhardt, 1995 - there are 5 developmental
pathways during adolesence - look at Fig. 2-2 (p.26)
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