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Chapter 4

PSY 289 Chapter Notes - Chapter 4: Systematic Desensitization, Psychopathology, Reinforcement

Course Code
PSY 289

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Exam 1 Page 1
Chapter 4
Monday, September 17, 2018 6:53 PM
Big Ideas:
developmental considerations in assessment:
age β†’ what behavior is normative, what assessment/treatment measures are appropriate
gender β†’ differences in rates, reporting, and expression of disorders cultural factors β†’ ethnicity, race, language,
religious beliefs, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, geographic origin, education, life experiences, etc.
ABC of behavioral assessment:
A β†’ antecedents (events that immediately precede a behavior)
B β†’ behavior(s) of interest
C β†’ consequences (events that follow a behavior) history of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual:
I/II β†’ relegated most childhood disorders to adult categories
III/III-R β†’ applied descriptive approach to etiology (rather than psychodynamic), replaced clinical descriptions with
diagnostic criteria, included childhood disorder categories, emphasized empirical data, prototypical classification
(individual can be diagnosed with a subset of symptoms without meeting all the criteria)
IV/IV-TR β†’ updated classification system, criteria sets, and disorder descriptions
5 β†’ conceptual, diagnostic, and procedural revisions; greater consideration to culture, age, gender, etc.
problem: focuses on symptom description versus causal factors in classification, less attention to childhood
disorders than adult disorders, lack of emphasis on situational/contextual factors, limits treatment/service
access to those that meet criteria (no provisions for prevention), large number of diagnostic categories of
limited validity
pros of diagnostic labels β†’ help clinicians summarize observations (facilitates communication) and locate relevant
research/clinical data, facilitates research cons of diagnostic labels β†’ questionable effectiveness, stigmatization (can
negatively affect individual's view of self) considerations for intervention strategies:
cultural β†’ parents have different parenting values, child-rearing practices, beliefs about childhood problems/how
to describe those problems, how mental health services are provided, and what interventions are preferred treatment
goals β†’ focus on adaptation skills for long-term adjustment rather than elimination of problem behaviors or
subjective distress requires openness to combined treatments and integration of community/social services
ethical/legal β†’ select treatment goals/procedures with client's best interest in mind, ensure active/voluntary
participation, keep records of treatment effectiveness, protect confidentiality, ensure therapist qualifications/
competencies; be aware of federal/state/local laws relating to children with special needs
general approaches to treatment:
psychodynamic β†’ child psychopathology is determines by underlying conscious and unconscious conflicts, and
treatment should help the child become aware of the unconscious factors that are affecting them and help them
develop adaptive coping mechanisms
behavioral β†’ many abnormal child behaviors are learned, and treatment should use positive reinforcement, time
out, modeling, systematic desensitization, etc. to re-educate the child; focuses on changing the environmental
factors that are reinforcing the target behavior
cognitive β†’ abnormal child behavior is the result of deficits/distortions in the child's thinking (i.e. perceptual biases,
irrational beliefs, faulty interpretations), and treatment should change these faulty cognitions cognitive-behavioral
β†’ psychological disturbances are the result of faulty thought patterns and faulty learning/ environmental
experiences, and treatment should identify maladaptive cognitions, replace them with more adaptive ones, and
address how others respond to the maladaptive cognitions/behaviors
client-centered β†’ child psychopathology is the result of social/environmental circumstances that are imposed on
the child and interfere with personal growth/adaptive functioning to cause low self-esteem/emotional well-being,
and treatment should relate unconditional/nonjudgmental/genuine acceptance of the child
family β†’ child psychopathology is determined by variables in the larger family system, and treatment should focus
on the family issues underlying problem behaviors
neurobiological β†’ child psychopathology results from neurobiological impairment/dysfunction, and treatment
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