Abnormal Child Psychology: A Developmental Perspective

Abnormal Child Psychology: A Developmental Perspective

Abnormal Child Psychology: A Developmental Perspective

Abnormal Child Psychology: A Developmental Perspective

Synopsis

Abnormal Child Psychology: A Developmental Perspective is intended for undergraduate and Masters-level students enrolled in courses in Abnormal Child and Adolescent Psychology. Written from a developmental perspective, the book is organized around five prominent and recurring themes: the course of normal development proceeds in an orderly and predictable direction; maladaptive behaviors represent deviations from the normal path; maladaptive behavior is represented by a continuum of severity (symptoms, syndromes, disorders) based on the degree to which behaviors deviate from the norm; individual, interpersonal, contextual and cultural factors interact in a reciprocal way to influence normal development and abnormal deviations; theoretical input from diverse perspectives can guide our understanding of underlying processes that precipitate and maintain behaviors and the different developmental pathways that might result.

The text provides students with a learning model which incorporates three essential cornerstones, which are pivotal to understanding child and adolescent psychopathology: the K3 paradigm that consists of knowledge of developmental expectations, knowledge of the sources of influence, and knowledge of the theoretical models. Each chapter opens with a case illustration to highlight the themes of the material that follows. The chapters conclude with a Summary Review, Glossary of New Terms and a Set of Review Questions.

Excerpt

Understanding abnormal child behavior from a developmental perspective requires an appreciation of the science of child psychopathology as it exists today and a recognition of how the discipline has evolved over time. In some ways, it is ironic that developmental psychopathology will always be considered one of the youngest disciplines relative to other psychological fields of study, with its birth dating back only some thirty years ago (1984). Yet in many ways, the science is also blessed with the intensity and energy of youth that has resulted in an explosion of research and theory in the area unsurpassed by many of the most mature of disciplines. It is the author’s firm belief that without an appreciation of the evolutionary nature of progress in the field, and the contexts of development, one cannot hope to understand the complex nature of developmental psychopathology. With this goal in mind, rather than rushing on to the problems themselves, this text, probably more than any other, begins by focusing on the essential core upon which the discipline has been built. Within the spirit of a truly developmental perspective, the study of child psychopathology unfolds from its past to the present and with an eye to the future. In this part, important concepts will be introduced that will be re-addressed and reinforced throughout the text. Laying the foundation for future discussions, the foundations prepare readers with vital information integrating sources from history, theory, risk and resilience, cultural diversity, ethical issues, research methods, and issues in diagnosis, assessment, and treatment. Once students have an appreciation for the breadth and depth of the discipline, they will be able to approach developmental problems with a more focused and intense understanding.
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