Test Bank For Abnormal Child Psychology International Edition 5th Edition By Eric J. Mash

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Test Bank For Abnormal Child Psychology International Edition 5th Edition By Eric J. Mash

  1. Theories and Causes 

Chapter Summary: 

There are many factors and processes, which may influence child and family disturbances (e.g., biological, psychological, familial, cultural).  The study of the etiology of childhood disorders is a consideration of how different variables interact to produce a particular outcome. An integrative approach allows for many different theories and models to contribute insights into human behavior. The developmental psychopathology perspective provides a general framework of studying childhood disorders and emphasizes the role of developmental processes, and the influence of multiple, interrelated events in guiding both abnormal and normal development.  Importantly, the developmental psychopathology perspective stresses that an understanding of normal development is necessary in order to appropriately understand abnormal development.  Biological perspectives examine how children’s brain development is influenced by genetics, neuroanatomy, and maturation rates. Brain development and environmental experiences interact as a child’s brain structure develops, with development continuing throughout a person’s lifetime. Neural plasticity, genetics, brain structures, the endocrine system, and neurotransmitters all play significant roles in brain function. Psychological perspectives examine emotional, behavioral and cognitive influences on abnormal behavior. Emotional reactivity and regulation, as well as temperament and personality, play a role in the emotional development of the child. Behavioral and cognitive perspectives emphasize children’s learning and interpretation of their environment. Three major approaches that follow behavioral or cognitive-behavioral models include Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA), classical conditioning, and social learning and cognition theories. Family and cultural perspectives view the child’s social and environmental situations as influential factors. Knowledge about a child’s attachment level and family relationships is essential in understanding behavior. A health promotion view recognizes that many causes interact together within a child’s environment, and this perspective is emphasized within the context of understanding abnormal child psychology. 

Chapter Outline: 

  1. Theoretical Foundations
    • The study of abnormal child behavior requires an understanding of developmental processes and of individual and situational events that can influence the course and direction of a particular child
    • Theories allow us to predict behavior based on samples of knowledge
    • The study of the etiology of childhood disorders considers how biological, 

psychological, and environmental processes interact to produce outcomes over time

  1. Underlying Assumptions
  1. Abnormal development is multiply determined – we must look beyond current symptoms and consider developmental pathways and interacting events that, over time, contribute to the development and expression of a particular disorder
  2. The child and the environment are interdependent and interact dynamically – the child and the environment are both active contributors to adaptive and maladaptive behavior (called the “transactional” or “relational” view)
  3. Abnormal development involves continuities and discontinuities, with both quantitative and qualitative changes in patterns of behavior over time
  1. An Integrative Approach
  1. Abnormal child behavior is best studied from a multi-theoretical perspective
  1. Developmental Considerations
  • Adaptational failure is the failure to master or progress in accomplishing developmental milestones
  1. Organization of Development
  1. Implies an active, dynamic process of continual change and transformation
  2. Sensitive periods are windows of time during which environmental influences on development are enhanced
  3. The attempt to understand influences on abnormal child development is made easier by considering the fact that development proceeds in an organized, hierarchical way
  1. Developmental Psychopathology Perspective
  1. Developmental psychopathology is an approach to describing and studying disorders of childhood and adolescence in a way that stresses the importance of developmental processes and tasks
  2. The developmental psychopathology perspective is viewed as a macroparadigm
  3. To understand maladaptive behavior, one must view it in relation to what is considered normative
  1. Biological Perspectives
  • A neurobiological perspective considers brain and nervous system functions as underlying causes of psychological disorders
  1. Neural Plasticity and the Role of Experience
  1. The brain shows neural plasticity (i.e., malleability; use-dependent anatomical differentiation) throughout the course of development
  2. Experience plays a role in brain development, with transaction occurring between ongoing brain development and environmental experiences; these experiences may include early care-giving
  3. Maturation of the brain is an organized, hierarchical process with brain structures changing and growing through the life span
  4. As the brain is shaped by early experiences, consequences of traumatic experience may be difficult to change
  1. Genetic Contributions 
  1. Any trait a child has results from an interaction of environmental and genetic factors
  2. Very few specific genetic causes have been isolated or identified as the underlying cause of child psychopathology
  3. Genes produce tendencies to respond to the environment in certain ways, but do not determine behavior
  4. Behavioral genetics investigates possible connections between genetic predispositions and observed behavior through familial aggregation studies and twin and adoption studies
  5. Molecular genetics offer more direct support for genetic influences on child psychopathology
  6. Molecular genetics methods directly assess the association between variations in DNA sequences and variations in a particular trait or traits
  7. Conclusions from behavioral geneticists are that genetic contributions to psychological disorders come from many genes that each make relatively small contributions
  1. Neurobiological Contributions
  1. Brain Structure and Function – Different areas of the brain regulate different functions and behaviors, with the limbic system, basal ganglia, cerebral cortex, and frontal lobes of particular interest to researchers of psychopathology
  2. The endocrine system regulates certain processes in the body through the production of hormones; it is closely related to the immune system, and therefore is especially implicated in health- and stress-related disorders
  3. The hypothalamus and pituitary and adrenal glands make up the regulatory system known as the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal (HPA) axis, which has been implicated in several disorders, especially anxiety and mood disorders
  4. Neurotransmitters are like biochemical currents of the brain that make connections between different parts of the brain; changes in neurotransmitter activity may make people more or less likely to exhibit certain behaviors.  Neurotransmitters most commonly implicated in psychopathology include serotonin, benzodiazepine-GABA, norepinephrine, and dopamine.
  1. Psychological Perspectives
  1. Emotional Influences
  1. Emotions are critical to healthy adaptation in that they serve as internal monitoring and guidance systems that are designed to appraise events as being beneficial or dangerous, as well as provide motivation for action
  2. Children may have difficulties in emotion reactivity or emotion regulation:
  1. Emotion reactivity – individual differences in threshold and intensity of emotional experience, which provides clues to an individual’s level of distress and sensitivity to the environment
  2. Emotion regulation – involves enhancing, maintaining, or inhibiting emotional arousal, often for a particular purpose of goal
  1. Temperament shapes the child’s approach to the environment and vice versa.  Three primary dimensions of temperament have relevance to the risk of abnormal development: positive affect and approach, fearful or inhibited, and negative affect or irritability
  1. Behavioral and Cognitive Influences
  1. Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) explains behavior as a function of its antecedents and consequences (reinforcement and punishment)
  2. Classical conditioning explains the acquisition of deviant behavior on the basis of paired associations between previously neutral stimuli and unconditioned stimuli
  3. Social learning considers the influence of cognitive mediators on behavior, as well as the role of affect and the importance of contextual variables in the etiology and maintenance of behaviors
  4. Social cognition relates to how children think about themselves and others, resulting in the formation of mental representations of themselves and others
  1. Family, Social, and Cultural Perspectives
  • Ecological models describe the child’s environment as a series of nested and interconnected structures
  1. Infant-Caregiver Attachment
  1. Attachment theory emphasizes the evolving infant-care-giver relationship, which helps the infant regulate behavior and emotions, especially under conditions of threat or stress
  2. Children develop internal working models of relationships based on early relationships with caregivers.  Four patterns of attachment styles, which are believed to reflect different types of internal working models, have been identified: secure, anxious-avoidant, anxious-resistant, and disorganized
  1. The Family and Peer Context
  1. Increasingly, the study of individual factors and the study of the child’s context, including family and peer relationships, are being seen as mutually compatible and beneficial to both theory and intervention
  2. Family system theorists study children’s behavior in relation to other family members


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