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Chapter 1

Psychology 2320A/B Chapter Notes - Chapter 1: Intellectual Disability, Moral Insanity, Mental Disorder

Course Code
Elizabeth Hayden

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Chapter 1 Intro
Important features that distinguish most child and adolescent disorders
o he adults seek seies fo hilde, it ofte is ot lea hose pole it is
o many child and adolescent problems involve failure to show expected
developmental progress
o many problem behaviours shown by children and youths are not entirely
o interventions for children and adolescents often are intended to promote
further development, rather than merely to restore a previous level of
Historical Views and Breakthroughs
some of the earliest historical interest in abnormal child behaviour surfaced near end of
18th century
church used it strong influence to attribute hilde’s usual o distiutig ehaious to
their inherently uncivilized and provocative nature
during this period, nonreligious explanations for disordered behaviour in children were
rarely given serious consideration
many children were treated harshly or indifferently by parents,
o during 17th and 18th century, as many as 2/3 of children died before their 5th
birthday because of poor health services
many generations, implied view of society that children are the exclusive property and
responsibility of their parents
laws even allowed parents to keep children with severe developmental disabilities
Emergence of Social Conscience
now know that before any real change can occur, it requires a philosophy of humane
understanding in how society recognizes and address the special needs of some of its
in Western society, inkling of prerequisites for social conscience first occurred during
17th century, when both a philosophy of humane care and institutions of social
protection began to take root
John Locke: influenced present day attitudes and practices of child birth and rearing
o Believed in individual rights, expressed novel opinion that children should be
raised with thought and care instead of indifference and harsh treatment
Saw children as emotional sensitive beings
During 19th century, one of the first documented efforts to work with special children
was with Jean Marc Itard
o Treated Victor (person found living in woods outside Paris) for severe
developmental delays rather than sending him to an asylum
Vito: ild o of Aeo disoeed i Fae  hutes he he
was about 11 or 12, lived alone in woods
Initially was mute, walked on all fours, bit and scratched, raised with
animals possibly, Itard believed environmental stimulation could
humanize him
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Started to be able to identify letters, objects, understand words
o Launched new era of a helping orientation toward special children, which initially
foused o the ae, teatet ad taiig of people the teed ental
Leta Hollingworth: argued that many mentally defective children were actually suffering
from emotional and behaviour problems primarily due to inept treatment by adults and
lack of appropriate intellectual challenge
View led to an important and basic distinction between persons with intellectual
disability (imbeciles) and those with psychiatric or mental disorders (lunactics)
Ben Rush: argued children were incapable of true adult like insanity, because the
immaturity of their developing brains prevented them from retaining the mental events
that caused insanity
Term moral insanity grew in acceptance as a means of accounting for non-intellectual
forms of abnormal child behaviour
Concern for welfare of children with mental and behaviour disturbances began to rise
with two important influences
o Advances in general medicine, physiology, moral insanity view of psychological
disorders were replaced by organize disease model
Which emphasized more humane forms of treatment
Dorothea Dix: mid-nineteenth century established 32 humane mental
o Second, growing influence of the philosophies of Locke and others led to view
that children needed moral guidance and support
Early Biological Attributions
Successful treatment of infectious diseases during latter part of 19th century
strengthened emerging belief that illness and disease, including mental illness, were
biological problems
Early attempts at biological explanations for deviant or abnormal behaviour was highly
iased i fao of ause eig peso’s fault
Clifford Beers: had recovered from severe psychosis, spearheaded efforts to change
plight of others afflicted
o Belieig disodes ee fo of disease, he itiized soiet’s igoae ad
indifference and sought to prevent mental disease by raising the standards of
care and disseminating reliable information
Detection and intervention methods began to flourish
Intervention though sadly (bc this was bio disease model) was limited to persons with
most visible and prominent disorders
The development of the disease was considered progressive and irreversible, tied to
development of child
All one could do was prevent most extreme manifestations by strict punishment and to
protect those not affected
Attitude turned from cautious optimism to dire pessimism, hostility
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Lock argued society returned to view mental illness was disease that could spread if left
Early Psychological Attributions
To conceptualize and understand abnormal child psych, bio influences must be balanced
with important developmental and cultural factors
Recognition of psych influences emerged early in 20th century, when attention was
drawn to importance of major psych disorders and to formulating taxonomy of illnesses
Allowed researchers to organized and categorize ways of differentiating among various
psych problems, resulting on some semblance of understanding and control
Increase in knowledge, shift perception prompted development of diagnostic categories
and new criminal offenses
Two major theoretical paradigms helped shape emerging psych and environmental
influences: psychoanalytic theory and behaviourism
Beginning 20th etu, pessiisti aout ailit to teat hilde’s disodes
Freud was one of first to reject this pessimism and raise new possibilities for treatment
as roots of these disorders were traced to early childhood
Believed individuals have inborn drives and predispositions that strongly affect their
development, and believed experiences play a role though in psychopathology
First time disorders not viewed as inevitable; could be helped if provided with proper
environment, therapy or both
Incorporated developmental concepts into understanding of psychopathology at time
when early childhood development was ignored by mainstream child psychiatry and
Emphasized that personality and mental health outcome had many roots
o Outcomes depended on large degree interaction
Aa Feud: epaded his ideas to udestadig hilde, otig ho hilde’s
symptoms were related more to developmental states than were those of adults
Recently, psychanalytic theory has less of an influence of clinical practice
Important to remember that current nosologies (efforts to classify psychiatric disorders
into descriptive disorders) are essentially non-developmental in their approaches
Nosologies in DSM attempt to find common denominators that describe manifestations,
rather to describe development in context of individual (as Freud did)
Pavlovs: established foundations for classical conditioning
Watson = father of behaviourism
o Was more psychoanalytic then intended, explained terms such as unconscious
and transference using language of conditioned emotional responses
o Pioneered scientific investigation of some of Freuds ideas
Evolving Forms of Treatment
94’s istitutionalization came under criticism by Rene Spitz
o raised serious questions about harmful impact of institutional life on childrens
growth and development
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