AP7_Lecture_Ch17

AP7_Lecture_Ch17 - Disorders of Childhood and Adolescence...

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Unformatted text preview: Disorders of Childhood and Adolescence Chapter 17 Slides & Handouts by Karen Clay Rhines, Ph.D. Northampton Community College Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e Disorders of Childhood and Adolescence Abnormal functioning can occur at any time in life Some patterns of abnormality, however, are more likely to emerge during particular periods Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 2 Childhood and Adolescence Theorists often view life as a series of stages on the road from birth to death Freud proposed that each child passes through the same five stages of psychosexual development: oral, anal, phallic, latency, and genital Erikson added the stage of "old age" Although theorists may disagree with the details of these schemes, most agree with the idea that we confront key pressures during each stage in life and either grow or decline depending on how we meet those pressures Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 3 Childhood and Adolescence People often think of childhood as a carefree and happy time yet it can also be frightening and upsetting Children of all cultures typically experience at least some emotional and behavioral problems as they encounter new people and situations Surveys indicate that worry is a common experience Bedwetting, nightmares, temper tantrums, and restlessness are other problems experienced by many children Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 4 Childhood and Adolescence Adolescence can also be a difficult period Physical and sexual changes, social and academic pressures, personal doubts, and temptation cause many teenagers to feel anxious, confused, and depressed Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 5 Childhood and Adolescence Along with these common psychological difficulties, at least onefifth of all children and adolescents in North America also experience a diagnosable psychological disorder Boys with disorders outnumber girls with disorders, even though most of the adult psychological disorders are more common in women Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 6 Childhood and Adolescence Certain disorders of children childhood anxiety disorders and childhood depression have adult counterparts Other childhood disorders elimination disorders, for example usually disappear or radically change form by adulthood There also are disorders that begin in birth or childhood and persist in stable forms into adult life These include mental retardation and autism Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 7 Childhood Anxiety Problems Anxiety is, to a degree, a normal and common part of childhood Since children have had fewer experiences than adults, their world is often new and scary Because they are highly dependent on their parents for emotional support and guidance, children may also be affected greatly by parental problems or inadequacies There also is genetic evidence that some children are prone to an anxious temperament Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 8 Childhood Anxiety Disorders For some children, such anxieties become chronic and debilitating, interfering with their daily lives and their ability to function appropriately; they may be suffering from an anxiety disorder Surveys indicate that between 10% and 21% of all children and adolescents display an anxiety disorder Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 9 Childhood Anxiety Disorders Some of these disorders are similar to their adult counterparts, but more often they take on a somewhat different character due to cognitive and other limitations Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 10 Childhood Anxiety Disorders Typically, anxiety disorders of young children are dominated by behavioral and somatic symptoms They tend to center on specific, sometimes imaginary, objects and events Separation anxiety disorder, one of the most common childhood anxiety disorders, follows this profile and is displayed by 4% of all children A separation anxiety disorder may further take the form of a school phobia or school refusal a common problem in which children fear going to school and often stay home for a long period Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 11 Childhood Anxiety Disorders Despite the high prevalence of these disorders, most anxious children go untreated Among children who do receive treatment, psychodynamic, behavioral, cognitive, cognitive behavioral, family, and group therapies, separately or in combination, have been applied most often each with some degree of success Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 12 Childhood Anxiety Disorders Clinicians have also used drug therapy in some cases, often in combination with psychotherapy, but drug therapy for these disorders has begun to receive much research attention only recently Because children typically have difficulty recognizing and understanding their feelings and motives, many therapists, particularly psychodynamic therapists, use play therapy as part of treatment Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 13 Childhood Mood Disorders Major Depressive Disorder Around 2% of children and 9% of adolescents currently experience major depressive disorder; as many as 15 % of adolescents experience at least one depressive episode As with anxiety disorders, very young children lack the cognitive skill that helps produce clinical depression, thus accounting for the low rate of depression among the very young Depression in the young may be triggered by negative life events (particularly losses), major changes, rejection, or ongoing abuse Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 14 Childhood Mood Disorders Major Depressive Disorder Some of the features of childhood depression differ from those that characterize adult depression Clinical depression is much more common among teenagers Suicidal thoughts and attempts are particularly common Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 15 Childhood Mood Disorders Major Depressive Disorder While there is no difference between rates of depression in boys and girls before the age of 13, girls are twice as likely as boys to be depressed by the age of 16 Several factors have been suggested, including hormonal changes, increased stressors, and increased emotional investment in social and intimate relationships Another factor that has received attention is teenage girls' growing dissatisfaction with their bodies Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 16 Childhood Mood Disorders Major Depressive Disorder Throughout the 1990s it was generally believed that childhood and teenage depression would respond well to the same treatments that have been of help to depressed adults cognitivebehavioral therapy, interpersonal approaches, and antidepressant drugs and many studies indicated the effectiveness of such approaches However, some recent studies and events have raised questions about these approaches and findings, especially in relation to the use of antidepressant drugs, highlighting again the importance of research, particularly in the treatment realm Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 17 Childhood Mood Disorders Bipolar Disorder For decades, conventional clinical wisdom held that bipolar disorder is exclusively an adult mood disorder, whose earliest age of onset is the late teens However, since the mid1990s, clinical theorists have begun to believe that many children display bipolar disorder Most theorists believe that the growing numbers of children diagnosed with this disorder reflect not an increase in prevalence but a new diagnostic trend Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 18 Childhood Mood Disorders Bipolar Disorder Other theorists believe the diagnosis is currently being overapplied to children and adolescents They suggest the label has become a clinical "catchall" that is being applied to almost every explosive, aggressive child The outcome of the debate is important, particularly because the current shift in diagnoses has been accompanied by an increase in the number of children who receive adult medications for bipolar disorder Few of these drugs have been tested on and approved specifically for use in children This is an issue that clearly requires careful study Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 19 Oppositional Defiant Disorder and Conduct Disorder Children consistently displaying extreme hostility and defiance may qualify for a diagnosis of oppositional defiant disorder This disorder is characterized by repeated arguments with adults, loss of temper, anger, and resentment Children with this disorder ignore adult requests and rules, try to annoy people, and blame others for their mistakes and problems As many as 8% of children qualify for this diagnosis The disorder is more common in boys than girls before puberty, but equal in both sexes after puberty Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 20 Oppositional Defiant Disorder and Conduct Disorder Children with conduct disorder, a more severe problem, repeatedly violate the basic rights of others They are often aggressive and may be physically cruel and violent to people and animals Many steal from, threaten, or harm their victims, committing such crimes as shoplifting, vandalism, mugging, and armed robbery Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 21 Oppositional Defiant Disorder and Conduct Disorder Conduct disorder usually begins between 7 and 15 years of age As many as 10% of children, threequarters of them boys, qualify for this diagnosis Children with a mild conduct disorder may improve over time, but severe cases frequently continue into adulthood and develop into antisocial personality disorder or other psychological problems Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 22 Oppositional Defiant Disorder and Conduct Disorder Many clinical theorists believe there are actually several kinds of conduct disorder One team distinguishes four patterns: Overtdestructive Overtnondestructive Covertdestructive Covertnondestructive Some individuals display only one of these patterns, while others display a combination of them It may be that the different patterns have different causes Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 23 Oppositional Defiant Disorder and Conduct Disorder Other researchers distinguish yet another pattern of aggression found in certain cases of conduct disorder relational aggression in which individuals are socially isolated and primarily display social misdeeds Relational aggression is more common among girls than boys Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 24 Oppositional Defiant Disorder and Conduct Disorder More than onethird of boys and onehalf of girls with conduct disorder also display attentiondeficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) In most cases, ADHD is believed to precede and help cause the conduct disorder Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 25 Oppositional Defiant Disorder and Conduct Disorder Many children with conduct disorder also experience depression In such cases, the conduct disorder typically precedes the onset of depressive symptoms This combination of symptoms places the individual at higher risk for suicide Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 26 Oppositional Defiant Disorder and Conduct Disorder Many children with conduct disorder are suspended from school, placed in foster homes, or incarcerated When children between the ages of 8 and 18 break the law, the legal system often labels them juvenile delinquents Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 27 What Are the Causes of Conduct Disorder? Cases of conduct disorder have been linked to genetic and biological factors, drug abuse, poverty, traumatic events, and exposure to violent peers or community violence They have most often been tied to troubled parentchild relationships, inadequate parenting, family conflict, marital conflict, and family hostility Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 28 How Do Clinicians Treat Conduct Disorder? Because disruptive behavior patterns become more locked in with age, treatments for conduct disorder are generally most effective with children younger than 13 A number of interventions have been developed but no one of them alone is the answer for this difficult problem Given that conduct disorder affects all spheres of a child's life, today's clinicians are increasingly combining several approaches into a wideranging treatment program Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 29 How Do Clinicians Treat Conduct Disorder? Sociocultural Treatments Given the importance of family factors in conduct disorder, therapists often use family interventions One such approach is parentchild interaction therapy A related family intervention is videotape modeling When children reach school age, therapists often use a family intervention called parent management training These treatments often have achieved a measure of success Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 30 How Do Clinicians Treat Conduct Disorder? Sociocultural Treatments Other sociocultural approaches, such as residential treatment in the community and programs at school, have also helped some children improve One such approach is treatment foster care In contrast to these other approaches, institutionalization in "juvenile training centers" has not met with much success and may, in fact, strengthen delinquent behavior Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 31 How Do Clinicians Treat Conduct Disorder? ChildFocused Treatments Treatments that focus primarily on the child with conduct disorder, particularly cognitivebehavioral interventions, have achieved some success in recent years In problemsolving skills training, therapists combine modeling, practice, roleplaying, and systematic rewards Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 32 How Do Clinicians Treat Conduct Disorder? ChildFocused Treatments Another childfocused approach, the Anger Coping and Coping Power Program, has children participate in group sessions that teach them to manage their anger more effectively Studies indicate that these approaches do reduce aggressive behaviors and prevent substance use in adolescence Recently, drug therapy also has been used Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 33 How Do Clinicians Treat Conduct Disorder? Prevention It may be that the greatest hope for reducing the problem of conduct disorder lies in prevention programs that begin in early childhood These programs try to change unfavorable social conditions before a conduct disorder is able to develop Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 34 AttentionDeficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder Children who display attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have great difficulty attending to tasks, behave overactively and impulsively, or both The primary symptoms of ADHD may feed into one another, but often one of the symptoms stands out more than the other Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 35 AttentionDeficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder Problems common to the disorder: Learning or communication problems Poor school performance Difficulty interacting with other children Misbehavior, often serious Mood or anxiety problems Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 36 AttentionDeficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder Around 5% of schoolchildren display ADHD, as many as 90% of them boys Those whose parents have had ADHD are more likely than others to develop it The disorder usually persists through childhood, but many children show a lessening of symptoms as they move into midadolescence Between 35% and 60% continue to have ADHD as adults Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 37 What Are the Causes of ADHD? Clinicians generally consider ADHD to have several interacting causes, including: Biological causes, particularly abnormal dopamine activity, and abnormalities in the frontalstriatal regions of the brain High levels of stress Family dysfunctioning Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 38 What Are the Causes of ADHD? Sociocultural theorists also point out that ADHD symptoms and a diagnosis of ADHD may themselves create interpersonal problems and produce additional symptoms in the child Three other explanations have received considerable press: ADHD is typically caused by sugar or food additives ADHD results from environmental toxins such as lead Excessive exposure to television can contribute to ADHD Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 39 How Do Clinicians Assess ADHD? ADHD is a difficult disorder to assess Ideally, the child's behavior should be observed in several environmental settings, because symptoms must be present across multiple settings in order to meet DSMIVTR's criteria It also is important to obtain reports of the child's symptoms from their parents and teachers Clinicians also commonly employ diagnostic interviews, rating scales, and psychological tests Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 40 How Is ADHD Treated? There is heated disagreement about the most effective treatment for ADHD The most commonly applied approaches are drug therapy, behavioral therapy, or a combination Millions of children and adults with ADHD are currently treated with methylphenidate (Ritalin), a stimulant drug that has been available for decades Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 41 How Is ADHD Treated? These drugs have a quieting effect on as many as 80% of children with ADHD and sometimes increase their ability to solve problems, perform in school, and control aggression As many as 10% to 12% of all American boys may take Ritalin for ADHD, and the number of girls taking it is growing In recent years, certain other stimulant drugs have also been found useful Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 42 How Is ADHD Treated? However, some clinicians worry about the possible longterm effects of the drugs Extensive investigations indicate that ADHD is overdiagnosed in the U.S., so many children who are receiving it may, in fact, have been inaccurately diagnosed On the positive side, Ritalin is apparently very helpful for those who do have the disorder and most studies indicate that it is safe Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 43 How Is ADHD Treated? Behavioral therapy is also applied widely in cases of ADHD Parents and teachers learn how to apply operant conditioning techniques to change behavior These treatments have often been helpful, especially when combined with drug therapy Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 44 How Is ADHD Treated? Because children with ADHD often display other (comorbid) psychological disorders as well, researchers have further tried to determine which treatments work best for different combinations of disorders Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 45 Multicultural Factors and ADHD Race seems to come into play with regard to ADHD A number of studies indicate that African American and Hispanic American children with significant attention and activity problems are less likely than white American children to be assessed for ADHD, receive an ADHD diagnosis, or undergo treatment for the disorder Those who do receive a diagnosis are less likely than white children to be treated with the interventions that seem to be of most help, including the promising (but more expensive) longacting stimulant drugs Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 46 Multicultural Factors and ADHD In part, racial differences in diagnosis and treatment are tied to economic factors A growing number of clinical theorists further believe that social bias and stereotyping may contribute to the racial differences seen in diagnosis and treatment Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 47 Multicultural Factors and ADHD While many of today's clinical theorists correctly alert us that ADHD may be generally overdiagnosed and overtreated, it is important that they also recognize that children from certain segments of society may, in fact, be underdiagnosed and undertreated Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 48 Elimination Disorders Children with elimination disorders repeatedly urinate or pass feces in their clothes, in bed, or on the floor They have already reached an age at which they are expected to control these bodily functions These symptoms are not caused by physical illness Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 49 Enuresis Enuresis is repeated involuntary (or in some cases intentional) bedwetting or wetting of one's clothes It typically occurs at night during sleep but may also occur during the day The problem may be triggered by a stressful event Children must be at least 5 years of age to receive this diagnosis Prevalence of the disorder decreases with age Those with enuresis typically have a close relative who has had or will have the same disorder Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 50 Enuresis Research has not favored one explanation for the disorder over others Psychodynamic theorists explain it as a symptom of broader anxiety and underlying conflicts Family theorists point to disturbed family interactions Behaviorists often view it as the result of improper, unrealistic, or coercive toilet training Biological theorists suspect that the physical structure of the urinary system develops more slowly in some children Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 51 Enuresis Most cases of enuresis correct themselves without treatment Therapy, particularly behavioral therapy, can speed up the process Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 52 Encopresis Encopresis repeatedly defecating in one's clothing is less common than enuresis and less well researched The problem: Is usually involuntary Seldom occurs during sleep Starts after the age of 4 Is more common in boys than girls Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 53 Encopresis Encopresis causes intense social problems, shame, and embarrassment Cases may stem from stress, constipation, improper toilet training, or a combination of all three The most common treatments are behavioral and medical approaches, or combinations of the two Family therapy has also been helpful Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 54 LongTerm Disorders That Begin in Childhood Two groups of disorders that emerge during childhood are likely to continue unchanged throughout a person's life: Pervasive developmental disorders Mental retardation Clinicians have developed a range of treatment approaches that can make a major difference in the lives of people with these problems Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 55 Pervasive Developmental Disorders Pervasive developmental disorders are a group of disorders marked by impaired social interactions, unusual communications, and inappropriate responses to stimuli in the environment The group includes autistic disorder, Asperger's disorder, Rett's disorder, and childhood disintegrative disorder Because autistic disorder initially received so much more attention than the others, these disorders are often referred to as autisticspectrum disorders Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 56 Autistic Disorders Autistic disorder, or autism, was first identified in 1943 Children with this disorder are extremely unresponsive to others, uncommunicative, repetitive, and rigid Symptoms appear early in life, before age 3 There has been a steady increase in the number of children diagnosed and it appears that at least one in 600, and maybe as many as one in 160 children, display the disorder Around 80% of all cases appear in boys Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 57 Autistic Disorders As many as 90% of children with autism remain severely disabled into adulthood and are unable to lead independent lives Even the highestfunctioning adults with autism typically have problems in social interactions and communication, and have restricted interests and activities Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 58 What Are the Features of Autism? The central feature of autism is the individual's lack of responsiveness, including extreme aloofness and lack of interest in people Language and communication problems take various forms One common speech peculiarity is echolalia, the exact echoing of phrases spoken by others Another is pronominal reversal, or confusion of pronouns Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 59 What Are the Features of Autism? Autism is also marked by limited imaginative play and very repetitive and rigid behavior This has been called a "perseveration of sameness" Many sufferers become strongly attached to particular objects plastic lids, rubber bands, buttons, water and may collect, carry, or play with them constantly Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 60 What Are the Features of Autism? The motor movements of people with autism may be unusual Often called "selfstimulatory" behaviors; may include jumping, arm flapping, and making faces Children with autism may engage in selfinjurious behaviors Children may at times seem overstimulated and/or understimulated by their environments Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 61 Asperger's Disorder Those with Asperger's disorder (or syndrome) experience the kinds of social deficits, impairments in expressiveness, idiosyncratic interests, and restricted and repetitive behaviors that characterize individuals with autism, but at the same time they often have normal intellectual, adaptive, and language skills Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 62 Asperger's Disorder Clinical research suggests that there may be several subtypes of Asperger's disorder, each having a particular set of symptoms, including: Rule boys Logic boys Emotion boys Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 63 Asperger's Disorder Asperger's disorder appears to be more prevalent than autism Approximately 1 in 250 individuals displays this pattern, with 80% of them boys It is important to diagnose and treat the disorder early in life so that the individual has a better chance of being successful at school and living independently Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 64 What Are the Causes of Pervasive Developmental Disorders? Much more research has been conducted on autism than on Asperger's disorder or other pervasive developmental disorders Currently, many clinicians and researchers believe that the other disorders are caused by factors similar to those responsible for autism Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 65 What Are the Causes of Pervasive Developmental Disorders? A variety of explanations for autism have been offered Sociocultural explanations are now seen as having been overemphasized Recent work in the psychological and biological spheres has persuaded clinical theorists that cognitive limitations and brain abnormalities are the primary causes of the disorder Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 66 What Are the Causes of Pervasive Developmental Disorders? Sociocultural causes Theorists initially thought that family dysfunction and social stress were the primary causes of autism Kanner argued that particular personality characteristics of parents created an unfavorable climate for development "refrigerator parents" These claims had enormous influence on the public's image, as well as on the selfimage, of parents but research totally failed to support this model Some clinicians have proposed a high degree of social and environmental stress as a factor, a theory also unsupported by research Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 67 What Are the Causes of Pervasive Developmental Disorders? Psychological causes According to some theorists, people with autism have a central perceptual or cognitive disturbance One theory holds that individuals fail to develop a theory of mind an awareness that other people base their behaviors on their own beliefs, intentions, and other mental states, not on information they have no way of knowing Repeated studies have shown that people with autism have this kind of "mindblindness" It has been theorized that early biological problems prevented proper cognitive development Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 68 What Are the Causes of Pervasive Developmental Disorders? Biological causes While a detailed biological explanation for autism has not yet been developed, promising leads have been uncovered Examination of relatives keeps suggesting a genetic factor in the disorder Prevalence rates are higher among siblings and highest among identical twins Chromosomal abnormalities have been discovered in 10% to 12% of people with the disorder Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 69 What Are the Causes of Pervasive Developmental Disorders? Biological causes Some studies have linked autism to prenatal difficulties or birth complications Some theorists have proposed that a postnatal event the MMR vaccine might produce autism in some children, although subsequent research has found no link Researchers have also identified specific biological abnormalities that may contribute to the disorder, particularly in the cerebellum Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 70 What Are the Causes of Pervasive Developmental Disorders? Biological causes Many researchers believe that autism may have multiple biological causes Perhaps all relevant biological factors lead to a common problem in the brain a "final common pathway" that produces the features of the disorder Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 71 How Do Clinicians and Educators Treat Pervasive Developmental Disorders? Treatment can help people with autism adapt better to their environment, although no known treatment totally reverses the autistic pattern Treatments of particular help are behavioral therapy, communication training, parent training, and community integration In addition, psychotropic drugs and certain vitamins have sometimes helped when combined with other approaches Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 72 How Do Clinicians and Educators Treat Pervasive Developmental Disorders? Behavioral therapy Behavioral approaches have been used in cases of autism to teach new, appropriate behaviors including speech, social skills, classroom skills, and selfhelp skills while reducing negative behaviors Most often, therapists use modeling and operant conditioning Therapies are ideally applied when people with autism are young Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 73 How Do Clinicians and Educators Treat Pervasive Developmental Disorders? Behavioral therapy Given the recent increases in the prevalence of autism, many school districts are now trying to provide education and training for autistic children in special classes Most school districts, however, remain ill equipped to meet the profound needs of these students Although significantly impaired, children with Asperger's disorder have less profound educational and treatment needs Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 74 How Do Clinicians and Educators Treat Pervasive Developmental Disorders? Communication training Even when given intensive behavioral treatment, half of the people with autism remain speechless Many therapists include sign language and simultaneous communication a method of combining sign language and speech into therapy They may also use augmentative communication systems, such as "communication boards" or computers that use pictures, symbols, or written words, to represent objects or needs Such programs now use childinitiated interactions to help improve communication skills Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 75 How Do Clinicians and Educators Treat Pervasive Developmental Disorders? Parent training Today's treatment programs involve parents in a variety of ways For example, behavioral programs train parents so they can apply behavioral techniques at home In addition, individual therapy and support groups are becoming more available to help parents deal with their own emotions and needs Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 76 How Do Clinicians and Educators Treat Pervasive Developmental Disorders? Community integration Many of today's schoolbased and homebased programs for autism teach selfhelp and selfmanagement, as well as living, social, and work skills In addition, greater numbers of group homes and sheltered workshops are available for teens and young adults with autism These programs help individuals become a part of their community and also reduce the concerns of aging parents Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 77 Mental Retardation The term "mental retardation" has been applied to a varied population In recent years, the less stigmatizing term "intellectual disability" has become synonymous with mental retardation in many clinical settings As many as 3 of every 100 persons meets the criteria for this disorder Around threefifths of them are male and the vast majority are considered mildly retarded Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 78 Mental Retardation According to the DSMIVTR, people should receive a diagnosis of mental retardation when they display general intellectual functioning that is well below average, in combination with poor adaptive behavior IQ must be 70 or lower The person must have difficulty in such areas as communication, home living, selfdirection, work, or safety Symptoms must appear before age 18 Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 79 Assessing Intelligence Educators and clinicians administer intelligence tests to measure intellectual functioning These tests consist of a variety of questions and tasks that rely on different aspects of intelligence Having difficulty in one or two of these subtests or areas of functioning does not necessarily reflect low intelligence An individual's overall test score, or intelligence quotient (IQ), is thought to indicate general intellectual ability Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 80 Assessing Intelligence Many theorists have questioned whether IQ tests are indeed valid Intelligence tests also appear to be socioculturally biased If IQ tests do not always measure intelligence accurately and objectively, then the diagnosis of mental retardation may also be biased That is, some people may receive the diagnosis partly because of test inadequacies, cultural differences, discomfort with the testing situation, or the bias of the tester Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 81 Assessing Adaptive Functioning Diagnosticians cannot rely solely on a cutoff IQ score of 70 to determine whether a person suffers from mental retardation Several scales, such as the Vineland and AAMR adaptive behavior scales, have been developed to assess adaptive behavior For proper diagnosis, clinicians should observe the functioning of each individual in his or her everyday environment, taking both the person's background and the community standards into account Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 82 What Are the Features of Mental Retardation? The most consistent sign of mental retardation is that the person learns very slowly Other areas of difficulty are attention, short term memory, planning, and language Those who are institutionalized with mental retardation are particularly likely to have these limitations Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 83 What Are the Features of Mental Retardation? The DSMIVTR describes four levels of mental retardation: Mild (IQ 5070) Moderate (IQ 3549) Severe (IQ 2034) Profound (IQ below 20) In contrast, the American Association of Mental Retardation prefers to distinguish different kinds of mental retardation according to the level of support the person needs in various aspects if his or her life: intermittent, limited, extensive, or pervasive Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 84 Mild Retardation Approximately 80% to 85% of all people with mental retardation fall into the category of mild retardation (IQ 5070) They are sometimes called "educably retarded" because they can benefit from schooling People with mild retardation typically need assistance but can work in unskilled or semiskilled jobs Intellectual performance seems to improve with age Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 85 Mild Retardation Research has linked mild mental retardation mainly to sociocultural and psychological causes, particularly: Poor and unstimulating environments Inadequate parentchild interactions Insufficient early learning experiences Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 86 Mild Retardation Although these factors seem to be the leading causes of mild mental retardation, at least some biological factors may also be operating Studies have linked mothers' moderate drinking, drug use, or malnutrition during pregnancy to cases of mild retardation Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 87 Moderate, Severe, and Profound Retardation Approximately 10% of persons with mental retardation function at a level of moderate retardation (IQ 3549) They can care for themselves and benefit from vocational training Approximately 3% to 4% of persons with mental retardation display severe retardation (IQ 2034) They usually require careful supervision and can perform only basic work tasks Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 88 Moderate, Severe, and Profound Retardation About 1% to 2% of persons with mental retardation fall into the category of profound retardation (IQ below 20) With training they may learn or improve basic skills but they need a very structured environment Severe and profound levels of mental retardation often appear as part of larger syndromes that include severe physical handicaps Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 89 What Are the Causes of Mental Retardation? The primary causes of moderate, severe, and profound retardation are biological, although people who function at these levels are also greatly affected by their family and social environment Sometimes genetic factors are at the root of these biological problems Other biological causes come from unfavorable conditions that occur before, during, or after birth Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 90 What Are the Causes of Mental Retardation? Chromosomal causes The most common chromosomal disorder leading to mental retardation is Down syndrome Fewer than 1 of every 1000 live births result in Down syndrome, but this rate increases greatly when the mother's age is over 35 Several types of chromosomal abnormalities may cause Down syndrome, but the most common is trisomy 21 Fragile X syndrome is the second most common chromosomal cause of mental retardation Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 91 What Are the Causes of Mental Retardation? Metabolic causes In metabolic disorders, the body's breakdown or production of chemicals is disturbed The metabolic disorders that affect intelligence and development are typically caused by the pairing of two defective recessive genes, one from each parent Examples include: Phenylketonuria (PKU) TaySachs disease Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 92 What Are the Causes of Mental Retardation? Prenatal and birthrelated causes As a fetus develops, major physical problems in the pregnant mother can threaten the child's healthy development Low iodine may lead to cretinism Alcohol use may lead to fetal alcohol syndrome (FAS) Certain maternal infections during pregnancy (e.g., rubella, syphilis) may cause childhood problems including mental retardation Birth complications, such as a prolonged period without oxygen (anoxia), can also lead to mental retardation Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 93 What Are the Causes of Mental Retardation? Childhood problems After birth, particularly up to age 6, certain injuries and accidents can affect intellectual functioning Examples include poisoning, serious head injury, excessive exposure to xrays, and excessive use of certain chemicals, minerals, and/or drugs Certain infections, such as meningitis and encephalitis, can lead to mental retardation if they are not diagnosed and treated in time Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 94 Interventions for People with Mental Retardation The quality of life achieved by people with mental retardation depends largely on sociocultural factors Thus, intervention programs try to provide comfortable and stimulating residences, social and economic opportunities, and a proper education Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 95 Interventions for People with Mental Retardation What is the proper residence? Until recently, parents of children with mental retardation would send them to live in public institutions state schools as early as possible These overcrowded institutions provided basic care, but residents were neglected, often abused, and isolated from society Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 96 Interventions for People with Mental Retardation What is the proper residence? During the 1960s and 1970s, the public became more aware of these sorry conditions and, as part of the broader deinstitutionalization movement, demanded that many people be released from these schools People with mental retardation faced challenges by deinstitutionalization similar to people with schizophrenia Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 97 Interventions for People with Mental Retardation What is the proper residence? Since deinstitutionalization, reforms have led to the creation of small institutions and other community residences that teach selfsufficiency, devote more time to patient care, and offer education and medical services Residences include group homes, halfway houses, local branches of larger institutions, and independent residences These programs follow the principle of normalization; they try to provide living conditions similar to those enjoyed by the rest of society Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 98 Interventions for People with Mental Retardation What is the proper residence? Today the vast majority of children with mental retardation live at home rather than in an institution Most people with mental retardation, including almost all with mild mental retardation, now spend their adult lives either in the family home or in a community residence Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 99 Interventions for People with Mental Retardation Which educational programs work best? Because early intervention seems to offer such great promise, educational programs for individuals with mental retardation may begin during the earliest years At issue are special education versus mainstream classrooms In special education, children with mental retardation are grouped together in a separate, specially designed educational program Mainstreaming places them in regular classes with nonretarded students Neither approach seems consistently superior Teacher preparedness is a factor that plays into decisions about mainstreaming Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 100 Interventions for People with Mental Retardation Which educational programs work best? Many teachers use operant conditioning principles to improve the selfhelp, communication, social skills, and academic skills of individuals with mental retardation Many schools also employ token economy programs Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 101 Interventions for People with Mental Retardation When is therapy needed? People with mental retardation sometimes experience emotional and behavioral problems As many as 25% have a diagnosable psychological disorder other than mental retardation Some suffer from low selfesteem, interpersonal problems, and adjustment difficulties These problems are helped to some degree by individual or group therapy Medication is sometimes prescribed Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 102 Interventions for People with Mental Retardation How can opportunities for personal, social, and occupational growth be increased? People need to feel effective and competent to move forward in life Those with mental retardation are most likely to achieve these feelings if their communities allow them to grow and make many of their own choices Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 103 Interventions for People with Mental Retardation How can opportunities for personal, social, and occupational growth be increased? Socializing, sex, and marriage are difficult issues for people with mental retardation and their families With proper training and practice, individuals with mental retardation can learn to use contraceptives and carry out responsible family planning The National Association for Retarded Citizens offers guidance in these matters Some clinicians have developed dating skills programs Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 104 Interventions for People with Mental Retardation How can opportunities for personal, social, and occupational growth be increased? Some states restrict marriage for people with mental retardation These laws are rarely enforced Between onequarter and onehalf of all people with mild mental retardation eventually marry Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 105 Interventions for People with Mental Retardation How can opportunities for personal, social, and occupational growth be increased? Adults with mental retardation need the financial security and personal satisfaction that comes from holding a job Many can work in sheltered workshops, but there are too few training programs available Additional programs are needed so that more people with mental retardation may achieve their full potential, as workers and as human beings Comer, Abnormal Psychology, 7e 106 ...
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