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Flashcards in Abnormal Psych Across the Lifespan Deck (101):

Why are psychological problems in children especially poignant?

Because they affect children at a time in their lives when they have relatively little ability to cope


Do some disorders look different in children than they do in adults?

Yes, some problems are unique to childhood, disorders that manifest themselves differently in children than in adults


How do we consider something abnormal or normal for children?

Must be considered in light of developmental issues in addition to factors such as ethnicity or gender
-What is acceptable behaviour at one age may be unacceptable at another age


What is Autism Spectrum disorder characterized by?

Pervasive deficits in the ability to relate to and communicate with others, and by a restricted range of activities and interests.

Oversensitivity of under sensitivity to certain stimuli- become hyper focused on one specific thing

May have delayed speech or non verbal communication


Who is autism usually found in and when is it detected?

It is 4x more common in boys
Lifelong condition found in all socioeconomic levels

Becomes evident between ages 18-30 months, need to see symptoms before age 3


People with autism may also have...



Type 1
Type 2 Autism

1: Can tell autism is developing
2: child is developing normally and then around 1.5 years old, regression happens


What are some of the main features of Autism?

-Language and communication problems
-Ritualistic or stereotyped behaviours


What type of body movements do Autistic people use?

Twirling, flapping hands, rocking back and forth with the arms around knees

-May mutilate themselves, bang head, bite hands


What are the language skills like in people with Autism?

Child may be mute, or may have peculiar usage of language such as echolalia, pronoun reversals, use of words that only they know, raise voice at end of sentence


How do people with Autism feel in regards to Sameness?

PRESERVATION of Sameness- aversion to environmental changes, want the same food, same Monday outfit


Do individuals with Autism differ intellectually from the norm?

Yes, lag below the norm


Psychodynamic perspectives on Autism

Focused on pathological family relationships

Kanner and Eisenberg- reared by cold, detached parents who were "emotional refrigerators"

Bettelheim- extreme self-absorption is the child's defence against parental rejection


Cognitive perspective on Autism

They have a perceptual deficit that limits them to processing only one stimulus at a time


Biological perspectives on Autism?

-Have period of overgrowth of brain size early in postnatal development, followed by slowed growth resulting in BRAIN VOLUME SMALLER than average for children

-Smaller corpus callosum impacts lateralization (where one side of the hemisphere specializes in certain things)

-underdeveloped mirror neurons leading to social deficits


Myths associated with Autism?

Immunizations and environmental factors, blame it on pollutants or noise


What does the treatment of Autism focus on?

Focuses on behavioural, educational and communication deficits

-Highly intensive and structured, importance on EARLY INTERVENTION


What medication can be used for Autism?

-may be helpful in reducing social withdrawal and repetitive motor behaviour, aggressions, hyperactivity

Could go on antipsychotics but side effect is weight gain


What is an Intellectual Disability?

involves a broad delay in the development of cognitive and social functioning
-Assessed using formal intelligence tests and observations of adaptive functioning


What are the 3 criteria to determine intellectual disability?

1) An IQ score of approx. 70 or below on intelligence test
2) Evidence of impaired functioning in adaptive behaviour
3) Onset of the disorder before age 18

-Can't just have low IQ, has to be accompanied by one of the other criteria!


Do most fall into mild or severe intellectual disability category?

Mild- 90%


What is the prevalence rate of intellectual disability?

7.18 in 1000


What are the classifications of intellectual disability?

Mild: IQ of 55-70, 90% prevelance. Can reach grade 6 skill level, can live independently

Moderate: IQ of 40-55, 6% prevalence. Can reach grade 2 skill level

Severe: IQ of 25-40, 3% prevalence. Need constant supervision


What is Down Syndrome?

A condition caused by a Chromosomal abnormality involving an extra chromosome on the 21st pair

Usually need a visual aid


What are the physical features of Down Syndrome?

Round face, flat nose, downward sloping folds at inner corners of eyes, small hands and short fingers, disproportionately small legs and arms


What problems do people with Down Syndrome usually have?

Most have Mental Retardation, and physical problems like malformation of the heart and respiratory difficulties

Most die by middle age


What do children with down syndrome have to deal with?

learning and developmental difficulties, uncoordinated due to lack of muscle tone, memory deficits, difficulty expressing thoughts clearly


Down syndrome is the most common...

Chromosomal disability linked to intellectual disability


What is Fragile X Syndrome?

Believed to be caused by a mutated gene on the X chromosome. Defective gene is located in are of chromosome that appears fragile


Who does Fragile X syndrome affect more?

Guys because they only have 1 X chromosome


How often does Fragile X Syndrome cause Mental Retardation?

Causes MR in about 1 in every 1,000 to 1,500 males and about 1 in every 2,000 to 2,500 females


What is Phenylketonuria (PKU)?

Genetic disorder that prevents the metabolization of phenylpyruvic acid.. leading to MR


How do you treat PKU?

Go on low PKU diet, can't eat chicken, eggs, beef. Can just eat pasta, rice, fruits, veg


What is the prevalence of PKU?

Occurs in 1 in 10,000 births


What is Tay-Sachs disease?

Disease of lipid metabolism that is genetically transmitted and usually results in death in early childhood
-Recessive gene on chromosome 15 affects mostly Jews of Eastern European ancestry and French Canadians


What do children experience in Tay-Sachs disease?

Gradual loss of muscle control, deafness and blindness, retardation, paralysis... usually die before age 5


What are Prenatal Factors in Intellectual Disability?

-Cytomegalovirus: maternal disease of the herpes virus group that carries a risk of MR to the unborn child

-FASD- linked to development of ADHD = only preventable cause of intellectual disability

-Birth complications including oxygen deprivations, prematurity, brain infections


In order to diagnose Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, you need..

Confirmation that the mother drank


Cultural-Familial Causes of Intellectual Disability

Cultural-familial retardation: Milder form of MR that is believed to result or be influenced by impoverishment in the child's home environment


Inclusion or integration approach to intervention

-Least restrictive environment
-All students regardless of ability have the opportunity to be in same classroom
-Accommodation: give these kids aides such as pictures or blocks to help them learn
-Modifications: actually change the difficulty of what they are doing


What are some advantages of inclusion?

-Greater independence
-Expand awareness of individual difference
-Promotes acceptance
-Appreciate that all can learn from each other
-Better self-concept and circle of friends


What are some Disadvantages of inclusion?

-Attitudes may be negative
-low self-esteem
-Increased workload for teachers


What are some behavioural approaches to handling intellectual disability

-Teach people with MR basic hygienic behaviours
-Shape the desired behaviour by using verbal instruction and rewards
-Social skills training
-Anger management


What is a learning disorder?

Deficiency in a specific learning ability noteworthy because of the individual's general intelligence and exposure to learning opportunities


What is the intellectual level of someone with a learning disorder?

Have average to above average intelligence, but there is a discrepancy between where there IQ is and where they are actually performing


More times you need to be taught something, more likely you have a ________

Learning disability


What is Dyslexia?

Learning disorder characterized by impaired reading ability that may involve difficulty with the alphabet or spelling


What is the most common learning disorder?

Dyslexia- 80%


What is Mathematics disorder?

deficiencies in arithmetic skills, problem understanding basic mathematical terms or operations


When does mathematics disorder become apparent?

As early as grade 1 (age 6) but is generally not recognized until grade 3


What are disorders of written expression?

Dysgraphia: characterized by errors in spelling, grammar, punctuation or difficulty composing sentences


When does Dysgraphia become apparent?

By around Grade 2, although milder cases may not be recognized until grade 5


What is the prevalence of dysgraphia?



What is reading disorder?

Dyslexia- poorly developed skills in recognizing letters or works and comprehending written text

-Similar rates for males and females


When does reading disorder usually become apparent?

Usually by grade 2 (age 7) but sometimes at age 6


Neurobiological perspectives on learning disorders

Sensory processing dysfunction --> lots who have learning disabilities also have ADHD


Genetic factors in learning disorders?

People whose parents have dyslexia are at a greater risk themselves

Higher rates of concordance for dyslexia among twins


Interventions for learning disorders

Focus on a child's information processing style and academic strengths while trying to boost self-esteem and motivation
-develop close teacher-parent partnerships


What is the Individual Education Plan in response to learning disorders?

A contractual document that contains learning and behavioural outcomes for a student, a description of how the outcomes will be achieved and a description of how the outcomes will be evaluated


What is ADHD?

behaviour disorder of childhood that is characterized by excessive motor activity and inability to focus one's attention

-must show these characteristics in 2 or more settings


What are the 3 subtypes of ADHD

-Predominantly inattentive type: disorganized, daydream
-Predominantly hyperactive type: constantly on go, interrupt others
-Combination type: have 6 traits of each type


If you are over 17, how many symptoms do you need to be diagnosed ADHD?

5 symptoms


What are the prevalence rates of ADHD?

Between 5-10% of children aged 6 to 14 have it

boys 2-3x more likely

6-8 year olds have higher rates than 12-14 yr olds


When is ADHD usually detected?

See it in the first couple years of school


What are some features of ADHD?

-poorly in school
-fail to follow or remember instructions
-more likely to have a learning disability
-problems getting along with people
-unpopular with peers


What medications are used for ADHD?

Similar to those used for depression

RITALIN- stimulant drugs

Calming affects, increase attention spans, reduces annoying and disruptive behaviour

Successful in helping 3/4 children


Biological perspectives on ADHD

Areas of the brain involved in regulating attention and inhibition of motor behaviour, lack of executive control


What are environmental perspectives on ADHD?

Children with ADHD were 2.5x more likely to have had prenatal exposure to tobacco smoke


What are some side effects of Ritalin/stimulants?

loss of appetite or insomnia, hallucinations, retard a child's growth

Rare cases can result in cardiac arrest


Are the effects of medication for ADHD long acting?

No, have to take it daily


What is Conduct disorder?

Abnormal behaviour in childhood characterized by disruptive, antisocial behaviour, severe behaviours


Prevalence rates of conduct disorder?

3.3 %
-more common in boys, especially the childhood onset type (features appear before age 10)

Prior to age 10 it is oppositional defiance disorder
After 18 it is antisocial personality


Actions common to boys and girls with conduct disorder

Boys: stealing, fighting, vandalism
Girls: lying, substance abuse, running away


When diagnosing conduct disorder you look for this...

Whether their actions are done with or without empathy


What is oppositional defiant disorder?

Childhood characterized by excessive oppositional tendencies to refuse requests from parents and others
-more closely related to non-delinquent behaviours


Features of oppositional defiant disorder?

Refuse to follow requests, defiant of authority, easily angered, feel resentful towards others, blame others for mistakes, deliberately annoy people


What are the 3 categories of oppositional defiant disorder?

-Angry and Irritable
-Aggressive and Defiant


If diagnosis for oppositional defiant disorder is prior to age 5, how often do you have to see symptoms?

Everyday for 6 months


What is learning theory perspective on Oppositional defiant disorder?

Arises from parental use of inappropriate reinforcement strategies
-may be linked to unassertive and ineffective parenting styles, don't have a lot of rules


What is Family theory perspective on Oppositional defiant disorder?

Tend to be characterized by negative, coercive interactions, receive more punishment
-Family members use negative behaviours or means of coercion


What is CBT treatment for disruptive behaviours?

Programs with explicit rules and clear rewards for obeying the rules
-Use rewards and punishments
-Anger management
-Calming self-talk


What is separation anxiety disorder?

childhood condition characterized by extreme fears of separation from parents or others on whom the child is dependent

Usually following a stressful life event


What are some of the main features of separation anxiety disorder?

-Follow family members around
-Voice concerns about death
-nausea or vomiting when separation is anticipated
-throwing tantrums when parents are about to leave


What is the prevalence of separation anxiety disorder?

4% of children


Psychoanalytic theories on separation anxiety

Anxiety symbolizes unconscious conflicts


What are cognitive theories on separation anxiety?

Cognitive bias in processing information, such as interpreting ambiguous situations as threatening, expecting negative outcomes, negative self-talk


Depression in childhood

Show greater sense of hopelessness and more negative attributions


Prevalence rates of childhood depression

2% of Canadian children

No gender difference in childhood, but after age 15 girls become more likely


How many children who are depressed in childhood have a recurrence later in life?

about 3/4 children who were depressed between ages 8-13 have a recurrence later in life


What are some correlates of Childhood depression?

-Attributional style: usually internal, stable and global

-Adolescent girls: social challenges such as pressure to narrow their interests and pursue feminine activities


What medication is used for childhood depression

Antidepressants such as Prozac


What are some factors associated with childhood suicide?

Gender: girls more likely to attempt, boys to complete

Age: between 15-24

Ethnicity: highest in First Nations

Depression: higher risk when combined with low self-esteem

Previous suicidal attempts: 1 in 4 attempters repeats

Family problems: present in 75% of cases

Stressful life events: breakup, unwanted pregnancy, etc.

Substance abuse

Social contagion: widespread publicity of suicides


What is Dementia?

Cognitive impairment involving generalized progressive deficits in a person's memory and learning of new info, ability to communicate, judgment and motor coordination


What are the two major losses in Dementia?

-Memory loss
-Disturbance of executive function


What is the average duration of life after someone contacts a doctor about memory loss

3.3 years


What are some abnormalities in people with dementia?

-Amyloid plaques
-Neurofibrillary tangles
-inflammation of brain


What are some causes of dementia?

-Huntington's or Parkinson's disease
-head injury


What is Alzheimer's disease?

Fatal neurogenerative disorder that accounts for the majority of dementia cases (95%)


Who is at greatest risk for getting Alzheimer's?

People who have a mother with Alzheimer's


When is the diagnosis for Alzheimer's given?

when all other potential causes of dementia are ruled out


What is the treatment for Alzheimers?

No cure, but some medications slow down the decline in memory, and thinking abilities and inhibit the breakdown of acetylcholine