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Abnormal Child and Adolescent Psychology

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Course DatesWeeksMeeting TimesStatusInstructor(s)CRN
June 16, 2014 - June 27, 20142M-F 9A-11:50AOpenAshley Johnson, Elisabeth Frazier10549

Course Description

Have you ever wondered how mental illness affects children and their families? Can kids "catch" autism? Can children really suffer from schizophrenia? From autism and anxiety to pediatric bipolar and schizophrenia disorders, in this course, students will learn what psychiatric disorders look like in children, how they are treated, and controversies in childhood psychiatric diagnoses. This class will utilize lecture, discussion, and multimedia to present these topics in a fun and interactive manner.

The goal of this course is to provide an overview of psychological disorders in childhood and adolescence. Students will learn about disorders that are usually diagnosed in infancy, childhood, or early adolescence such as autism spectrum disorders, learning disorders, and attention-deficit and disruptive behavior disorders. Further, the course will educate students about how psychological disorders that arise continuously throughout development into adulthood, such as anxiety and depression, specifically impact children and adolescents.

The course will emphasize critical thinking about causes, assessment, symptoms, treatment, and current research in the field. Given the landmark changes occurring in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) in 2013, specific attention will be provided to reviewing the paradigm shift in the field of psychology assessment and the implication for current diagnostic labels. By the end of the course, we expect students to appreciate the relevance of context, culture, and scientific research in our understanding of abnormal psychology and its treatment. This course will provide students with a foundation in abnormal psychology to prepare them for further education in the field of psychology and provide students with the most up to date information on the conceptualization, assessment, and treatment of pediatric psychological disorders.

In this course, students will:
1. Obtain a broad understanding of mental health problems in youth, including anxiety, mood, disruptive behavior, attention deficit hyperactivity, learning, autism spectrum, psychotic, eating, and substance use disorders.
2. Develop critical thinking skills as applied to etiology, assessment, and treatment relevant for each disorder.
3. Conceptualize psychopathology using a developmental perspective.
4. Consider the role of stigma toward the child and family in abnormal behavior and mental illness.
5. Consider the role of the family and environment in the course and treatment of pediatric psychological disorders.
6. Identify the strengths and limitations of research on pediatric psychiatric illnesses and treatment.