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Posts from the ‘Childhood: Prenatal Period to Adolescence’ Category

26
Sep

Social Development in Childhood

Social Development in Childhood

The importance of play is introduced in Jean Piaget’s preoperational stage of development.  Piaget explains how, at this stage, children use symbols to express themselves with thinking and communication.  For example, “a picture of a chair represents a real chair, a child’s pretending to feed a doll stands for a parent’s feeding a baby, and so on” (Boyd & Bee, 2009).  These types of child interactions help the child understand the world around them.

As the child grows, play also becomes an important factor in the development of socialization skills.  For example, a preschooler that brings a toy to class learns the importance of sharing by allowing others to play with his/her toy also.  The use of play also aids in the improvement of communication skills with a child.  “For example, children this age adapt their speech or their play to the demands of a companion.  They play differently with older and younger playmates and talk differently to a younger child” (Boyd & Bee, 2009).  This example represents a higher level of cognitive functioning than Piaget gave children credit for.

According to Erickson (1950), early childhood development consists of a new sense of self found from engaging with the world around with initiative.  Through play and social interactions, children learn about activities that they can master without adult assistance.  These lessons aid to create a sense of self and purpose within the child’s personality.  “They begin to develop a self-concept, the set of attributes, abilities, attitudes, and values that an individual believes defines who he or she is.

A self-concept also influences emotional development in children.  If he/she experiences positive interactions that make up the definition of self, he/she will be more likely to face the world with a positive emotional skills.  Likewise, a negative self-concept can bring about a negative effect. Erickson’s theory finds that due to issues with their superego, children that receive excessive criticism from caregivers experience a large amount of guilt that deteriorates their self-concept.

Attachment also plays a role in this equation.  “In one study, 4-year-olds with a secure attachment to their mothers were more likely than their insecurely attached age mates to describe themselves in favorable terms at age 5-with statements that reflect agreeableness and positive affect” (Berk, 2012, p 365).  This relationship extends to include the impact of parent-child communication.  For example, if a parent continually tells a child that they are bad, they begin to identify themselves as such.  The same applies to personal defining likes/dislikes.  The child will learn to categorize activities that they enjoy by connecting the activity to a parents verbal communication when told he/she enjoys the park.  These elements lay the foundation for a sense of self-emerging within this age group.

A view within social learning theory finds that behavior is established through reinforcement and modeling (Berk, 2012, p 380). This theory is based upon the concept of operant conditioning- reinforcement of behavior through reward.  One such theorist in this school is thought is Albert Bandura.  He finds that “human functioning is a product of the interplay of intrapersonal influences, the behavior individuals engage in, and the environmental forces that impinge upon them” (Bandura, 2012). Bandura (2012) explains that the uncontrollable force of the environment influences behavior.  Yet, the reaction that is presented as a response is dependent upon the characteristics of the individual both in cognitive functioning and emotional response.

Social learning theory also explains learning and expression of gender identity. They explain that these elements of individuality are directly correlated to the effects of reinforcement and modeling.   For example, parents impose their viewpoint of what it is to be male or female through activities such as rough play with boys and more gentle activities with girls.  As a result, children take on the persona of their expected role.  Similarly, other areas of learning result from imitation of behaviors displayed within an environmental setting.

To contrast Erikson’s psychoanalytic theory to Bandura’s social learning, we can find that Erikson placed a larger emphasis on the impact of the individual with the outside world.  On the other hand, Bandura emphasizes the opposite.  Both note that the environment has a heavy influence on characteristics of the child.  However, Erikson believes that the resolution of internal conflicts produce positive attributes in children.  Whereas, Bandura outlines a complex interaction with the external environment through situational response and the underlying reinforcement that creates it.

References

Berk, L. E. (2012). Infants, children, and adolescents (7th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

Boyd, D., & Bee, H. (2009). Lifespan Development (5th Ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.

Erikson, E.H. (1993) (1950). Childhood and Society. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company. p. 242. ISBN 978-0393310689.

26
Sep

Nature vs. Nurture

NATURE VS NURTURE

            Since the 17th century, when John Locke proclaimed that the mind of a child is a blank slate, the debate about whether nature or nurture has the strongest influence on development has raged. Some scientists argued adamantly that genetics were the sole source of what makes us who we are. Others insisted that influences from the environment in which we are raised contribute to traits. Today, most psychologists now look for ways to account for both influences in their practices.

Parents transmit genes to their children that we can see such as eye color, height, and facial characteristics. What we don’t see are the individual differences in personality that are a part of behavior genetics (Boyd & Bee, 2009). Behavior genetics are studied particularly in identical and fraternal twins due to the similarities in their genes. It is found that identical twins share a higher percentage of personality traits throughout their lifetime. This proves that genetics does have an impact and supports that argument that nature can influence development.

Although nature is important, nurture or the outside environment that people are subjected to throughout their lifetime impacts behavior as well. The way that children are raised and the situations that people encounter can determine how they will grow and develop. Different people can react to situations in different ways based upon their past experiences. These experiences also affect the way in which the outside world is interpreted.

A good example of environmental variances within a cultural context can be found by taking a look into multi-cultural adopted families. Due to the lack of available children to adopt in the United States, many families look to other countries to complete their family (Berk, 2012, p66). These children grow up speaking a different language, enjoy different activities, and express different personalities than their biological relatives from their origin because of how and where they are raised.

Psychologists have moved away from the either/or debate of nature versus nurture. Now they are considering both as influences in development (Berk, 2012). To explain why it is that identical twins can be a complete opposite, scientists now contribute the difference to the work of an interesting new concept known as epigenetics. “Epigenetics works to turn genes on and off in a way to change traits” (Miller, 2012). This explains why one twin can be a successful businessman, while the other may be an alcoholic. While their genetic makeup is the same and their environment shared, the manner in which their traits are expressed can differ.

I agree that development is not as simple as nature or nurture, but a complex combination of both. The expressed traits within biologically related family members, identical twins, and adopted families all provide plenty evidence that there are multiple factors blended together to create the individual traits in each of us.

 

References

Berk, L. (2012). Infants, children, and adolescents. Boston, MA: Pearson Educational, Inc.

Boyd, D., & Bee, H. (2009). Lifespan Development (5th Ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.

Miller, P. (2012). Twins data reshaping nature versus nurture. Retrieved from http://www.npr.org/2012/01/02/144583977/twins-data-reshaping-nature-versus-nurture-debate.

26
Sep

Research & Issue Requests

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We look forward to the discovery of new information in the field of psychology and

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Please use the comment section below and provide as much detail on your topic as possible.  

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26
Sep

Language Development

Language Development

Early language development is broken down into three theories; the behaviorist perspective, the nativist perspective and the interactionist perspective.

The Behaviorist Perspective
Created by B.F. Skinner in 1957, this perspective claims that language is acquired through reinforcement or operant conditioning (Berk, 2012, p232). 7As the child hears words and repeats them, behavior is positively reinforced creating the foundations of language development. What this theory fails to acknowledge is that children string together words to form sentences that they have not previously heard.

The Nativist Perspective
“Linguist Noam Chomsky (1957) proposed a nativist account that regards the young child’s amazing language skill as a uniquely human accomplishment, etched into the structure of the brain” (Berk, 2012, p232). This perspective claims that language skills are too complex to be learned, so they must be preprogramed with the skills needed to acquire language development. Scientists base these claims on studies of the Bronca’s and Wernicke’s areas of the brain. It has been found that damage to these areas causes impairments in word formation and/or comprehension. The problem with this theory is that a universal language and grammatical structure does not exist. How does it account for variances in languages across the world and knowledge of grammar within each language?

The Interactionist Perspective
The interactionist perspective combines elements from both theories to present a nature and nurture version of language development. They believe that language abilities are provided by the brain and formed through social interactions and experiences.

Social and Cultural Factors
Many social and cultural factors play a role in how and when language skills are acquired. These factors include parenting styles, gender, temperament, environment and culture. For example, girls generally grow at a faster pace than boys in this area (Berk, 2012, p240; Fenson et al., 1994). The environment that a child is raised in shows us that “the more words caregivers use, the more children learn” (Weizman & Snow, 2001). Meanwhile, the culture sets the stage for language styles, reflections and vocabulary (Berk, 2012, p241).

Promoting Language Acquisition
Promoting language skills within the family is of the most utmost importance. Parents and caregivers can encourage positive development by engaging their children in conversation, responding to words and sounds with encouragement and reading to their children often. These steps will lay the foundation needed for strong cognitive development and language skills.

References

Berk, L.E. (2012. Infants, children, and adolescents (7th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon. ISBN: 9708025718160
Chomsky, N. (1957). Syntactic structures. The Hague: Mouton.
Fenson, L., Dale, P.S., Reznick, J.S., Bates, E., Thal, D.J., & Pethick, S.J. (1994). Variability in early communicative development. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 59(5, Serial No. 242).
Weizman, Z.O., & Snow, C.E. (2001). Lexical output as related to children’s vocabulary acquisition: Effects of sophisticated exposure and support for meaning. Developmental Psychology, 37, 265-279.

26
Sep

Theories of a Child’s Selfhood & Emotional Development

Theories of a Child’s Selfhood & Emotional Development

According to Erickson (1950), early childhood development consists of a new sense of self found from engaging with the world with initiative. Through play and social interactions, children learn about activities that they can master without adult assistance. These lessons aid to create a sense of self and purpose within the child’s personality. “They begin to develop a self-concept, the set of attributes, abilities, attitudes, and values that an individual believes defines who he or she is.

A self-concept also influences emotional development in children. If he/she experiences positive interactions that make up the definition of self, he/she will be more likely to face the world with a positive emotional skills. Likewise, a negative self-concept can bring about a negative effect. Erickson’s theory finds that due to issues with their superego, children that receive excessive criticism from caregivers experience a large amount of guilt that deteriorates their self-concept.

Attachment also plays a role in this equation. “In one study, 4-year-olds with a secure attachment to their mothers were more likely than their insecurely attached agemates to describe themselves in favorable terms at age 5-with statements that reflect agreeableness and positive affect” (Berk, 2012, p 365). This relationship extends to include the impact of parent-child communication. For example, if a parent continually tells a child that they are bad, they begin to identify themselves as such. The same applies to personal defining likes/dislikes. The child will learn to categorize activities that they enjoy by connecting the activity to a parents verbal communication when told he/she enjoys the park. These elements lay the foundation for a sense of self emerging within this age group.

A view within social learning theory finds that behavior is established through reinforcement and modeling (Berk, 2012, p 380). This theory is based upon the concept of operant conditioning- reinforcement of behavior through reward. One such theorist in this school is thought is Albert Bandura. He finds that “human functioning is a product of the interplay of intrapersonal influences, the behavior individuals engage in, and the environmental forces that impinge upon them” (Bandura, 2012). Bandura (2012) explains that the uncontrollable force of the environment influences behavior. Yet, the reaction that is presented as a response is dependent upon the characteristics of the individual both in cognitive functioning and emotional response.

Social learning theory also explains learning and expression of gender identity. They explain that these elements of individuality are directly correlated to the effects of reinforcement and modeling. For example, parents impose their viewpoint about what it is to be male or female through activities such as rough play with boys and more gentle activities with girls. As a result, children take on the persona of their expected role. Similarly, other areas of learning result from imitation of behaviors displayed within an environmental setting (Heyes, 2012).

By contrasting Erikson’s psychoanalytic theory to Bandura’s social learning, we can find that Erikson placed a larger emphasis on the impact of the individual with the outside world. On the other hand, Bandura emphasizes the opposite. Both note that the environment has a heavy influence on characteristics of the child. However, Erikson believes that the resolution of internal conflicts produce positive attributes in children. Whereas, Bandura outlines a complex interaction with the external environment through situational response and the underlying reinforcement that creates it.

Reference

Bandura, A. (2012). On the functional properties of perceived self-efficacy revisited. Journal Of Management, 38(1), 9-44. doi:10.1177/0149206311410606
Berk, L. E. (2012). Infants, children, and adolescents (7th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
Heyes, C. (2012). What’s social about social learning?. Journal Of Comparative Psychology, 126(2), 193-202. doi:10.1037/a0025180

26
Sep

Foundations of Temperament

Foundations of Temperament
“When we describe one person as cheerful and “upbeat,” another as active and energetic, and still others as calm, cautious, or prone to angry outbursts, we are referring to temperament- early-appearing, stable individual differences in reactivity and self-regulation” (Berk, 2012). Researchers Thomas and Chess (1977) have found that temperament can be broken down into four categories; the easy child, the difficult child, the slow-to-warm-up child, and the remained a mix of multiple categories. These descriptions represent the behavior that a child demonstrates on a daily basis when interacting with his/her environment.Temperament changes throughout the lifespan as children learn to control their emotions and behaviors in response to different stimuli. While this element of personality changes over time in response to environmental situations, it is also linked to a predisposition from genetic influences. Twin studies of both fraternal and identical twins show that identical twins more closely share similar temperament styles. Research on ethnic differences in temperament presents Caucasian-American children as more active and vocal than their Asian counterparts (Berk, 2012, p260). While these traits are passed down from generation to generation, the environment determines how and when they are expressed.

Environmental influences create the level of stability and security that a child bases their views of the world upon. For example, children that are deprived of human interaction and care demonstrate emotional and attachment issues. These problems can be corrected over time if given the proper caring and stable environment after the trauma.

Parental interactions also aid in the formation of temperament. A parent’s personal beliefs and expectations are projected onto the child and can influence the way the child behaves and reacts to the environment. For example, if a parent defines the child as being good, bad, social, quiet, or smart, the interactions with the child will reflect these opinions. Researchers have found that the effect of parental perception of temperament effects treatment and subsequently interactions and reactions, but may not reflect the actual stable level of temperament of the child (Majdandžić, van den Boom & Heesbeen, 2008). When the parent changes his/her belief of the child, the interactions also change which results in a different displayed temperament style. A clear example of this can be seen in parent/teen relationships. When the teenager gets in trouble and parents react as if the teen is trouble, odds are that the teen will continue this type of behavior. Yet if the same situation is reacted to in a manner that views this behavior as an isolated incident, chances improve that this incident will be more isolated in comparison.

In summary, children are equipped with the genetic foundation for particular temperament features. These features are directly influenced and/or reinforced by the interactions with the child and the environment. This environment helps to mold the individual differences in how children react to and interact with the world around them.

References
Berk, L. E. (2012). Infants, children, and adolescents (7th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.
Majdandžić, M., van den Boom, D. C., & Heesbeen, D. M. (2008). Peas in a pod: Biases in the measurement of sibling temperament?. Developmental Psychology, 44(5), 1354-1368. doi:10.1037/a0013064
25
Sep

The Infant Brain

The Infant Brain

 “During infancy and toddlerhood, neural fibers and synapses increase at an astounding pace” (Berk, 2012; Huttenlocher, 2002; Moore & Persaud, 2008).  These components of the brain communicate and form bonds with neighboring structures through stimulation to create the basic skills the child will need in life.  Neurons that are not stimulated experience a process called synaptic pruning in which they are stored for future use (Berk, 2012, p165).

The environment plays a huge role in infant brain development.  Researchers have found that children raised in orphanages with little adult stimulation grow to have issues in all areas of development (Berk, 2012, p169).  These areas include lower test scores, stress management issues, and emotional, behavioral, and psychological problems.   Studies show that these deprived children show greater improvement in these areas when they are subject to the deprivation for shorter increments and then raised in a normal, caring environment (Beckett et al., 2006; O’Connor et al., 2000; Rutter et al., 1998, 2004, 2010).

Unlike the adult brain, the brain of infants and toddlers can easily reorganize itself after experiencing damage (Berk, 2012, p170).  Their brain plasticity allows for the functioning of areas to be designated to make up for the damage.  Although a slight time of initial delay may occur after the onset of damage, children have been found to remarkably catch up to children their age in their functioning skills when compared to adults.

As you can see, appropriate stimulation is vital to infant brain development.  Researchers have categorized this development as experience-expectant and experience-dependent brain growth. The first describes the foundation of growth from brain organization to learning through interactions with the environment (Berk, 2012, p172).  On the other hand, experience-dependent brain growth adds to brain development through specific experiences over our lifetime.

 

 

References

Beckett, C., Maughan, B., Rutter, M., Castile, J., Colvert, E., & Groothues, C. (2006). Do the effects of early severe deprivation on cognition persist into early adolescence? Findings from the English and Romanian adoptees study. Child Development, 77, 696-711.

Berk, L. E. (2012). Infants, children, and adolescents (7th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon. ISBN: 9780205718160

Huttenlocher, P.R. (2002). Neural plasticity: The effects of environment on the development of the cerebral cortex. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Moore, K.L. & Persaud, T.V.N. (2008). Before we are born (7th ed). Philadelphia: Saunders.

O’Connor, T.G., Rutter, M., Beckett, C., Keaveney, L., Dreppner, J.M., & the English and Romanian Adoptees Study Team. (2003). Child-parent attachment following early institutional deprivation. Development and Psychopathology, 15, 19-38.

Rutter, M., & the English and Romanian Adoptees Study Team. (1998). Developmental catch-up, and deficit, following adoption after severe global early privation. Journal of Child Psychology and Psyciatry, 39, 465-476.

Rutter, M. O’Connor, T.G., and the English and Romanian Adoptees Study Team. (2004). Are there biological programming effects for psychological development? Findings from a study of Romanian adoptees. Developmental Psychology, 40, 81-94.

Rutter, M., Sonuga-Barke, E.J, Beckett, C., Castle, J., Kreppner, J., Kumsta, R., et al. (2010). Deprivation-specific psychological patterns: Effects of institutional deprivation. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development, 75(1, Serial No. 295).

 

25
Sep

Ecological Theory

Ecological Theory

Bronfenbrenner’s ecological theory of development describes development as a relationship between the environment and the person instead of two separate concepts.  This multi-level theory breaks down environmental influences on development as “the microsystem, mesosystem, exosystem, and macrosystem” (Crandell, Crandell, & Zander, 2009).  Each layer represents a variety of influences that shape each person’s developmental progression.

This ecological theory of development suggests that there’s not one single instance that effects our decisions in the path of life.  Instead, a complex relationship between different environments is the cause for behavior.  For example, a teenager chooses not to go to college.  This decision is not solely based upon their family’s educational history or academic struggles in previous school settings.  According to Bronfenbrenner, identifying behavior as being based upon simple factors, ignores the complex environmental interactions of school, peers, family, beliefs, religion, age, health, et cetera.  These complex patterns of behavior cannot be identified as happening at one point in time.  Instead, behavioral changes happen over time.  This is also referred to as the chronosystem.

To elaborate on the various levels of this theory, picture a circle with four layers surrounding the individual.  The microsystem is the layer directly outside of the individual.  It consists of relationships such as the family, school, peers, neighborhood, church, and health services.  These are the closest surrounding relationships that a person interacts with (Berk, 2000).  At this level, the impact of interactions work two ways, toward the individual and away from the individual. For example, peers can have an impact on thought patterns or behaviors of a child.  That same child can impact the thought patterns or behaviors of their peers.

The next layer, the mesosystem provides connections between elements of the microsystem and that of the exosystem.  For example, connections between a child’s family and educational system occur at this level.  It simply acts as a passageway to connect neighboring layers and comingle interactions between those layers.

Located outside of the mesosystem, the exosystem represents relationships that do not directly impact a person.  Bronfenbrenner listed the extended family, educational system, legal services, government agencies, mass media, and friends of family.  These categories have influence on a person’s life by interacting with components within the mesosystem (Beck, 2000).  Although the relationship here is passive, there is a “positive or negative force involved with the interaction with a person’s system” (Paquette, 2001).

The last element of the ecological theory is the macrosystem.  This layer is concerned with elements of a person’s society such as laws, cultural values, and customs (Berk, 2000).  Categories of the macrosystem have an effect on all parts of the theory.  An example of this would be “if it is the belief of the culture that parents should be soley responsible for raising their children, that culture is less likely to provide resources to help parents” (Paquette, 2001).

Given the multiple dynamics that create the features of each and every one of us, lifespan development can not be approached from a single system.  All aspects, relationships, biological components and experiences must be taken into account to ensure a healthy progression from birth into adulthood.

 

 

References

Berk, L.E. (2000). Child Development (5th ed.)  Boston: Ally and Bacon. 23-38

Crandell, T. L., Crandell, C. H., & Vander Zanden, J. W. (2009). Human development. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Higher Education.

Paquette, D., (June, 2001).Bronfenbrenner’s Ecolological Systems Theory. Retrieved from http://pt3.nl.edu/paquetteryanwebquest.pdf

25
Sep

Defining Development

Defining Development

 

Angel Pumila

Below we will cover the life stages according to developmental theorists, Erik Erikson and Lawrence Kohlberg.

I.               Trust vs. Mistrust: Birth to 18 Months

a) According to Erikson’s theory, people go through a series of crises throughout their development that must be overcome in order to successfully progress to the next stage.  The first is trust vs. mistrust.  During this stage, infants are relying on their parents for their needs to be met.  When their needs are met they develop a trusting relationship with their caregiver.  When the infant finds people to be undependable or have irregularity within their relationship, the infant learns that he/she cannot trust and therefore develops mistrust with the world around that will carry over into relationships later in life.

b) In comparison, Kohlberg would consider this level to be pre-conventional.  Pre-conventional moral reasoning is a process of basing decisions upon either obedience and punishment (stage one) or upon their best interests (stage 2).

II.             Autonomy vs. Shame & Doubt: 18 Months to 3 Years

a) The crisis at this stage is autonomy versus shame and doubt.  Here, children have the ability to explore the world around.  Children that are encouraged to explore and learn safely conquer autonomy and can deal with problems on their own.  Those that are restricted from exploring feel shame and doubt about their own abilities.

b) In comparison, Kohlberg would consider this level to be pre-conventional.  Pre-conventional moral reasoning is a process of basing decisions upon either obedience and punishment (stage one) or upon their best interests (stage 2).  This level continues until adolescence or adulthood.

III.           Initiative vs. Guilt: 3 to 5 Years

a) The issue at this stage is whether to take initiative in new tasks or guilt about their needs and desires (Bee & Boyd, 2009).  This stage is a continuation of the previous by Erikson.  When a child learns that goals can be met by taking initiative, this stage is successfully conquered.  Yet if children are restricted in their independence, they begin to question themselves and can begin to develop negative self-esteem as a result.

b) In comparison, Kohlberg would consider this level to be pre-conventional.  Pre-conventional moral reasoning is a process of basing decisions upon either obedience and punishment (stage one) or upon their best interests (stage 2).  This level continues until adolescence or adulthood.

c) This stage can vary based upon cultural and ethnic factors.  For example, some children may grow up in a cultural setting that does not enable them to explore their own independence.  On the other end of the spectrum, some cultures give too much freedom to children.

The research finds that “play provides a vehicle for children to both develop and demonstrate knowledge, skills, concepts and dispositions (Dempsey & Frost, 1993; Isenberg & Quisenberry, 2002). With such an emphasis placed on play in Western societies, the presence of outdoor play is reduced from year to year based upon concern for the safety of children in this dangerous world.  Overprotecting parenting stems from numerous safety issues such as street traffic, injury from bicycles or skateboards, or the issue of ‘stranger danger’ (Valentine & McKendrick, 1997).  According to the developmental theorists, this restrictive behavior could prevent children from exploring and learning on their own leading to a lack of motivation and curiosity for trying new things in the world around.

IV.           Industry vs. Inferiority: 5 to 13 Years

a) During late childhood, children are presented with the issue of competence.  Here, more complex skills are learned, children are learning to be individuals and find their place in the world around.  Children learn to develop and nurture their own talents.  If not allowed by parents, they lose initiative and motivation in creating or participating in particular interests.

b) In comparison, Kohlberg would consider this level to be pre-conventional.  Pre-conventional moral reasoning is a process of basing decisions upon both obedience and punishment (stage one) or upon their best interests (stage 2).  This level continues until adolescence or adulthood.

V.             Identity vs. Role Confusion: 13 to 24 Years

a) Who am I?  Beginning in adolescence and lasting until early adulthood, people begin the stage of learning who they are as a person.  They begin to think about their roles in the future.  Successful completion of this stage includes a secure sense of identity, and “an emotional and deep awareness of who he or she is” (Stevens, 1983).  Without that deep sense of identity, people can become confused about their place in the world.

b) In comparison, Kohlberg would consider this level to be considered the conventional level of moral reasoning.  At this age and beyond, decisions are based upon the rights or wrong expected of society.  Stage three seeks approval or disapproval from society by conformance or nonconformance to social standards.  Stage four consists of maintaining the laws and social order of their society.  Approval from others is not required in stage four, instead a personal stance in upholding the norms of a society are key.

VI.           Intimacy vs. Isolation: 24 to 39 Years

a) After completion of ‘Identity vs. Role Confusion’, adults enter into ‘Intimacy versus isolation.  During this stage, people search for intimate relationships and a lifelong partner.  If successful intimate relationships are not found, people prepare themselves for the letdown of being alone. “Intimacy has a counterpart: Distantiation: the readiness to isolate and if necessary, to destroy those forces and people whose essence seems dangerous to our own, and whose territory seems to encroach on the extent of one’s intimate relations” (Erikson, 1950).

b) In comparison, Kohlberg would consider this level to be a combination of conventional and post-conventional morals.  “In stage five (social contract driven), the world is viewed as holding different opinions, rights and values” (Unknown, 2012).  The decision making in stage six concerns universal ethics and principles.  Decisions are absolute and unrelated to the laws and rules of society.  Instead, they are based upon what is right and just.

References

 Bee, H. & Boyd, D. (2009). The Developing Child (12th ed). Boston, MA: Pearson. ISBN 978-0205685936.

Dempsey, J.D., & Frost, J.L. (1993). Play environments in early childhood education. In B. Spodek (Ed.), Handbook of research on the education of young children (pp. 306-312). New York: Macmillan.

Erikson, E.H. (1993) (1950). Childhood and Society. New York, NY: W.W. Norton & Company. p. 242. ISBN 978-0393310689.

Isenberg, J.P., & Quisenberry, N. (2002). Play: Essential for all children.  Childhood Education, 79(1), 33-39.

Kohlberg, L. & Lickona, T. (1976). Moral stages and moralization: The cognitive –developmental approach.  Moral Development and Behavior: Theory, Research and Social Issues.  Holt, NY: Rinehart and Winston.

Little, H. (2009). Outdoor play: Does avoiding the risks reduce the benefits. Institute of Early Childhood, Macquarie University. Retrieved from http://www.earlychildhoodaustralia.org.au/australian_journal_of_early_childhood/ajec_index_abstracts/outdoor_play_does_avoiding_the_risks_reduce_the_benefits.html

Stevens, R. (1983). Erik Erikson: An Introduction, New Your, NY: St. Martin’s Press. pp 48-50. ISBN 978-0312258122.

Valentine, G., & McKendrick, J. (1997). Children’s outdoor play: Exploring parental concerns about children’s safety and the changing nature of childhood. Geoforum, 28(2), 219-235.

Unknown. (2012). Lawrence Kohlberg’s stages of moral development. Wikipedia. Retrieved from http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_Kohlberg’s_stages_of_moral_development#Conventional

25
Sep

Infant Cognitive Development

Infant Cognitive Development

Information-processing theorists claim that a child’s ability to effectively use their memory system has a large effect on their ability to succeed in tasks that involve problem solving.  They explain that children use scripts, or “cognitive structures that underlie behaviors that are often repeated” (Boyd & Bee, 2009).  For example to be able to brush your teeth, you must first grab a toothbrush.  Next put toothpaste on the toothbrush, and so on.  These step by step situations saved into memory are built upon as the child ages.

This theory also emphasizes the importance of metamemory and metacognition.  “Metamemory is the knowledge about and control of memory processes” (Boyd & Bee, 2009).  Metamemory explains that children know that it takes longer to memorize a long list of word than a shorter list.  It is the knowledge of memory functions.   “Metacognition is knowledge about and control of thought processes” (Boyd & Bee, 2009).  Similar to memory, metacognition is the awareness of understanding and thinking.

Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory emphasizes the “role of social factors in cognitive development” Boyd & Bee, 2009).  Vygosky believed that children learn through a joining of minds in social situations and internalize the information for problem solving.  This theory does not deny that leaning can occur on an individual basis, but claims that there’s more learning acquired through social settings instead.

After comparing the two theories above, I believe that both are credible in describing cognitive factors in development.  The information-processing theory explains the use of key factors governing cognitive advancements in an academic setting.  On the other hand, Vygotsky’s sociocultural theory reminds me of learning through parent-child interactions early in life.  Therefore, by understanding both theories and the various uses of each, we will have a better concept of the processes governing cognitive development.

 

 

Reference

Boyd, D., & Bee, H. (2009). Lifespan Development (5th Ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.

25
Sep

Lasting Effects of Infant Attachment

Lasting Effects of Infant Attachment

According to the attachment theory, “infants are biologically predisposed to form emotional bonds with caregivers and that the characteristics of those bonds shape later social and personality development” (Boyd & Bee, 2009).  They claim that if children do not form a healthy attachment to their caregivers before two years old, they will have personality and social problems later on in life.  Confidence or lack of are created between child and parent through reliability and affection.  If the child can rely on the parent to be there when needed, a healthy relationship is created.  One this situation is formed in a healthy manner, the child feels safe to grow and explore the world around.  Children also tend to recreate the relationships formed earlier in life.  Without a safe and reliable foundation, the child will mimic the patterns learned in future relationships in a negative manner.  This makes the creation of healthy early attachment vital throughout the child’s lifespan.

Reference

Boyd, D., & Bee, H. (2009). Lifespan Development (5th Ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson.

25
Sep

School Bullying

School Bullying

“A student is being bullied or victimized when he or she is exposed, repeatedly and over time, to negative actions on the part of one or more other students” (Cook, 2010, p. 79). Given that many stereotypes that are embedded in our culture, in adolescence those that deviate from the norm can be unjustly labeled and treated as social outcasts. Teens are expected to dress and act in a manner that is similar to their peers.  When these roles show signs of deviation, negative consequences such as social isolation, teasing, name calling, and verbal and physical fighting can occur as a result.  “Acts of violence have expanded from school yard bullying” (Sugarman, 2013, p. 1) in which both the victim and bully had to be physically in the same place at the same time.  Now, technology, such as computers, tablets, Internet, and smartphones, provides a means for bullying to occur virtually anywhere. These experiences can lead to a snowball effect of stress and anxiety that can directly impact behavior and life span development in young adults.

In many cases, posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) results from being victimized by bullying.  (PTSD) is defined as a psychological disorder that develops as a result of exposure to events that cause psychological trauma (VandenBos, 2007, p. 717).  It causes suffers to experience long-term anxiety that can directly impact behavior.  PTSD has been shown to be associated with suicidal thoughts, risk-taking behaviors, nightmares, depression, sexual recklessness, and eating disturbances (Mauk & Rodgers, 1994, p. 103).  Traumas associated with PTSD can be caused from sexual assault, violence, threat of death, or any event that can overwhelm a person’s ability to cope.

Targeted victimization is causing lasting damage.  This comes in the form of delays in the development of identity formation that encompasses the period of adolescence.  Kohlberg describes a staged process of development in which one obstacle must be overcome before moving to the next (Berk, 2012, p. 608).  While Erikson explained that identity confusion caused by internal conflicts could lead to delinquency in this population of young adults (Erikson, 1968, p. 307).  In either case, the impact of victimization caused by bullying can delay the developmental processes in a multifaceted way.

Many researchers have studied the extent of which these traumatic events, such as exposure to violence in childhood, have on development from childhood to adulthood.  One such study was performed by researchers O’Donnell, Schwab-Stone, & Muyeed (2002). They found that social support is the predicting factor of resiliency when children have been exposed to community violence.  They studied 2,600 students from sixth, eighth, and tenth grade to identity adaptive behaviors that were gained by being a part of an urban public school system. It was found that support from peers was negatively correlated with resiliency when it came to misconduct and substance abuse in those exposed to violence.  The children that had both school and parental support were more likely to recover from the exposure and were shown to have less symptoms of PTSD.

Reduction in the occurrences of bullying and targeting victimization can happen through policy change and personal empowerment.  Lasting psychological impact can be lessened with the assistance of social and family support, school counseling and psychological assistance.  Proper social support and problem management should be given to both the bully and the victim.  MacNeil (2004) noted that the act of bullying should be addressed by tackling the behavioral pattern, not just a single situation.  Parental, school, and social support is a significant factor between academic and developmental success when combating violence, abuse, and bullying.  “Nearly all indirect effects of victimization on reported grades, truancy, and importance of graduating were significant through suicidality and school belongingness across groups.  Parent support was most consistent in moderating the effects of victimization” (Poteat, Mereish, DiGiovanni, & Koenig, 2011).

 

 

References

Berk, L. E. (2012). Infants, children, and adolescents (7th ed.). Boston, MA: Allyn & Bacon.

Cook, C. R. (2010). Predictors of Bullying and Victimization in Child- hood and Adolescence, 25 SCH.

Erikson, E. (1968). Identity, youth and crisis.  New York: W.W. Norton Company.

MacNiel, G. & Newell, J. (2004). School bullying: who, why, and what to do. The Prevention Researcher 11(3).

Mauk, G, & Rodgers, P., Building bridges over troubled waters: School-based postvention with adolescent survivors of peer suicide. Crisis Intervention Time Limited Treatment (1994). 1, 103-123.

O’Donnell, D.A., Schwab-Stone, M.E., & Muyeed, A.Z. (2002).  Multidimensional resilences in urban children exposed to community violence.  Child Development, 73, 1265-1282.  Doi:10.1111/1467.8624.00471

Poteat, V., & Anderson, C. J. (2012).  Developmental changes in sexual prejudice from early to late adolescence:  The effects of gender, race, and ideology on different patterns of change.  Developmental Psychology, doi:10.1037/a0026906

Sugarman, D. B., & Willoughby, T. (2013). Technology and violence: Conceptual issues raised by the rapidly changing social environment. Psychology Of Violence, 3(1), 1-8. doi:10.1037/a0031010VandenBos, G. R. (Ed.). (2007). APA dictionary of psychology. Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.

25
Sep

The Birth Experience

The Birth Experience

Norms surrounding childbirth vary from culture to culture.  For example, in many tribal communities, childbirth is a public ritual in which a “mother gives birth in full view of the entire community, including small children” (Berk, 2008, p129).  In more industrialized parts of the world, women privately give birth with medical assistance in a hospital setting.  These norms do vary as popularity in natural or home delivery gain popularity.

It has been found that social support plays a role in the outcome of childbirth as well.  “Guatemalan mothers who received doula support also interacted more positively with their babies after delivery, talking, smiling, and gently stroking” (Berk, 2008, p130: Kennell et al., 1991; Sosa et al., 1980).  These mothers that are supported by a friend, relative, or birth attendant tend to have less occurrences of cesarean deliveries and are better able to tolerate the pain involved with delivery.

Childbirth does come with risks to both mother and child.  Medications such as anesthetics are widely given to mothers during childbirth to reduce pain.  When passed through the placenta, these drugs can cause the baby to be born irritable, sleepy, feed slower and have lower Apgar scores (Berk, 2009).  Additional risks occur when instruments such as forceps or vacuums are used to extract the child during delivery.  Although the speed of delivery is increased, torn tissues in the mother, bleeding in the child’s skin, and even brain damage has been shown to happen with these methods.

These methods, along with induced labor and cesarean delivery, are decided upon in an as-needed basis based upon many factors.  Babies found in a breech position or with placenta problems are often born by cesarean delivery.  Over time this surgical procedure has becoming increasingly safer, but requires a longer recovery time.  With induced labor, medication to increase contractions is given and the amnion bag is broken.  This speeds up the labor process, while making it more intense on the mother and possibly creating an “inadequate oxygen supply to the baby” (Berk, 2008, p134).

The birth of a new baby can occur in many different ways, with many different outcomes.  Each variable is as complex and the growing fetus itself.  From public natural births with cultural support to a private hospital setting under medical control, cultural norms influence the type of birth, level of interventions, and overall outcome as the baby first enters into the world.

References

Berk, L. E. (2008). Infants, children, and adolescents. (6th ed.). Boston, MA: Pearson Education. ISBN: 9780205511389.

Kennell, J. H., Klaus, M., McGrath, S., Robertson, S., & Hinkley, C. (1991). Continuous emotional support during labor in a U.S. hospital. Journal of the American Medical Association, 265, 2197-2201.

Sosa, R., Kennell, J., Klaus, M., Robertson, S., & Urrutia, J. (1980). The effect of a supportive companion on perinatal problems, length of labor, and mother-infant interaction.  New England Journal of Medicine, 303, 597-600.

25
Sep

Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD)

Preimplantation Genetic Diagnosis (PGD)

Preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) is used to diagnose genetic disorders.  “In PGD, a biopsy is performed on blastocysts resulting from in vitro fertilization” (Gross, 2008).  One cell is taken from each blastocyst to determine which is a carrier of a genetic mutation and which will grow to be a healthy embryo.  Then, the healthy blastocyst is transferred into the mother’s uterus for possible pregnancy.  While “most clinics performing PGD use the procedure for serious diseases such as cystic fibrosis, Tay-Sachs disease, Huntington’s disease, and sickle-cell anemia” (Gross, 2008; Basille et al., 2009; Cunniff & Committee of Genetics, 2004), others use this procedure for sex selection of the blastocyst.  Controversy surrounds PGD due to the ability to select the traits of the unborn child.  Still, this technological procedure is helpful in aiding parents who are looking to prevent genetic disorders from being passed to the next generation.

This procedure does come at a cost that makes it unavailable to the majority of the population.  As of October, 2012 at the Fertility Institute of New Orleans, the cost for PGD was approximately $6500.  That is added to the already expensive cost of in vitro fertilization.  Still for some, this expense is well worth the initial price tag when preventing deadly diseases in unborn children.

References

Basille, C., Frydan, R., Aly, A.E., Hesters, L., Fanchin, R., Tachdjian, G., et al. (2009). Preimplantation gentetic diagnosis: State of the art. European Journal of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Reproductive Biology, 145, 9-13.

Cunniff, C., & Committee on Genetics. (2004). Pediatrics prenatal screening and diagnosis for pediatricians. Pediatrics, 114, 889-894.

Gross, D. (2008). Infancy: Development from birth to age 3. Boston, MA: Pearson Education. ISBN: 9780205417988.

24
Sep

ADHD Diagnosis in Childhood

ADHD DIAGNOSIS IN CHILDHOOD:

INCREASING DIAGNOSIS RATES OR OVERLY DIAGNOSED

Abstract

     The diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and prescription of psychostimulant drugs has multiplied by 700% in the last century.  These numbers are especially high within the area of child diagnosis.  The roots of behavior problems that these children are exhibiting are not being addressed.  They are simply being medicated to mask the underlying problem(s).  Here, we will examine research to find the problems with diagnosis of childhood attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.  The questions that will be answered include diagnostic rates for ADHD in school aged children, criteria that psychologists and medical doctors are using to diagnose ADHD, alternative methods to the use of psychostimulant drugs, and success rate of behavioral therapy in eliminating ADHD symptoms. Results show that adherence to ADHD diagnostic criteria is not followed in all cases.  It is suggested that future research be performed on alternative treatment methods for behavioral disorders including behavioral, cognitive, and family therapy.

Keywords: attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, over diagnosis of ADHD in children

Tables

Table 1:  Percentage of attentiondeficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) diagnoses for the eight different case vignettes (Bruchmuller, Basel, Margraf, & Schneider, 2012). GAD = generalized anxiety disorder.

Image

Introduction

     According to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR), the criteria for diagnosis of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder contains six or more of the following symptoms that are present for a minimum period of six months.

“Inattention:

  1. Often does not give close attention to details or makes careless mistakes in schoolwork, work, or other activities.
  2. Often has trouble keeping attention on tasks or play activities.
  3. Often does not seem to listen when spoken to directly.
  4. Often does not follow instructions and fails to finish schoolwork, chores, or duties in the workplace (not due to oppositional behavior or failure to understand instruction).
  5. Often has trouble organizing activities.
  6. Often avoids, dislikes, or doesn’t want to do things that take a lot of mental effort for a long period of time (such as schoolwork or homework).
  7. Often loses things needed for tasks and activities (e.g. toys, school assignments, pencils, books, or tools).
  8. Is often easily distracted.
  9. Is often forgetful in daily activities.

Six or more of the following symptoms of hyperactivity-impulsivity have been present for at least 6 months to an extent that is disruptive and inappropriate for developmental level:

Hyperactivity:

  1. Often fidgets with hands or feet or squirms in seat.
  2. Often gets up from seat when remaining in seat is expected.
  3. Often runs about or climbs when and where it is not appropriate (adolescents or adults may feel very restless).
  4. Often has trouble playing or enjoying leisure activities quietly.
  5. Is often “on the go” or often acts as if “driven by a motor”
  6. Often talks excessively.

Impulsivity:

  1. Often blurts out answers before questions have been finished.
  2. Often has trouble waiting one’s turn.
  3. Often interrupts or intrudes on others (e.g., butts into conversations or games” (American Psychiatric Association, 2000).

Research

     There is a biological basis for these symptoms that can be found in PET scans of the brain.  Research has found that “where the chemical norepinephrine and dopamine are not produced in the proper amount, the receptor sites in the brain, there’s fewer receptor sites, there is, if you look at some of the PET scans, the area which are affected, the blood vessels are narrower in those areas, and it’s a medical disorder” (Firmin & Phillips, 2009).  Yet, because of costs or other factors, tests like these are not preformed when confirming a diagnosis for attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder in children or adults.

     Even with these criteria available for psychologists and medical doctors, ADHD is often diagnosed without sufficient cause. According to a study published in the Journal of Consulting Psychology, ADHD is not always diagnosed properly.  Researchers performed a study to see if therapists were diagnosing correctly by using case vignettes sent out to 1,000  “psychologists, psychiatrists, and social workers” (Bruchmuller, Basel, Margraf, & Schneider, 2012).  These professionals were asked to offer a diagnosis based upon the criteria presented in each vignette.  Vignette 1 fully met 10 of the criteria of ADHD as stated in the DSM-IV-TR.  Vignette 2-4 offered a few symptoms of ADHD, but did not qualify for diagnosis. The results show that 16% of professionals diagnosed ADHD to the case vignettes that did not qualify (see table 1).  In addition, it was found that the vignettes that represented boys were two times more likely to be diagnosed than the vignettes that represented girls.

Misdiagnosis

     This misdiagnosis can be seen in the increasing rates of psychostimulant use since the 1990s.  The evidence can be found in the study by LeFever and Arona from the Center for Pediatric Research at Eastern Virginia Medical School and Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters.  They found that there has been a 700% increase in the drugs being prescribed for ADHD.    That amounts to approximately six million children in the United States being diagnosed on an annual basis (Dilleer, 1998; Sinha, 2001).  “The high rate of prescription for Ritalin and expensive brand-name drugs such as Adderall, Concerta, and Metadate reflect a more general reliance on phsychotropic drugs in American healthcare practices.  In 1998, doctors mentioned psychotropic drug treatment and estimated 85.8 million times during 36.7 million office visits (Health Care Financing Administration, 2001) averaging 2.3 documented references to psychotropic drug treatment per physician visit” (LeFever & Arcona, 2003).

One cause for this drastic increase can be seen in research conducted nationally has shown that primary care doctors seldom adhere to DSM-IV-TR standards for diagnosis (Kellerher & Larson, 1998). They seem to be diagnosing the onset of behavioral problems and using medications to control school aged children, instead of addressing the behavior directly.  Not only is this a problem with ADHD, but other childhood psychiatric conditions as well.  According to a study examining outpatient child and adolescent psychiatry prescribing practices, “the use of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors and methylphenidate in children has become widespread” (Aras, Tas, & Unlu, 2007).  This suggests that reform needs to be considered in the treatment services offered to minors.  LeFever and Arona suggest that, along with stricter implementation of diagnostic criteria, community-based intervention programs are warranted on a nationwide level in the United States.

Symptom Longevity

     The transition from childhood to adolescence includes many changes physically, emotionally, and cognitively.  In some, these changes can be in their previous ADHD diagnosis as well.  In a study published in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, some of those that were previously diagnosed in childhood no longer met the full criteria once they entered into adolescence.

Increased family adaptation is helpful in managing symptoms of ADHD as well.  Qualitative case studies concerning the families of children diagnosed with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder report that parents are more attuned to needs of the children and make “adaptations and interventions when needed to accomplish family objectives” (Firmin, 2009).  It is argued that clinical treatment without changing family contexts can reduce the success of ADHD interventions (Corrin, 2004) (Fabiano, 2007) (Labauve, 2003).

Attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder is not always present throughout the lifespan.  According to findings reported in the Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, symptoms found in childhood ADHD have been shown to dissipate in adolescence and early adulthood in some patients (Sibley, Pelham, Molina, Gnagy, Waschbusch, Garefino, & Karch, 2012). This could be a result of a combination of misdiagnosis, as well as simply outgrowing the symptoms associated with the disorder.

Criteria used to diagnose ADHD were evaluated by Purpura, Wilson, & Lonigan to find if the current diagnostic criteria as outlined in the DSM-IV-TR were related as a whole to the disorder itself.  Out of the eighteen items that were measured using polytomous and dichotomous scoring, they found that all eighteen criteria were in line with proper diagnosis.  So, the problem with the increasing numbers of those diagnosed in the United States has been ruled out, according to this study, as being associated with the individual metrics of diagnosis.

Conclusion

     In conclusion, it has been shown that there are a significant amount of cases that involve diagnosis that does not fully adhere to professional standards.  In these cases, many have been medicated with psychotropic drugs when other methods of behavior treatment have been available and not fully considered.  Alternatives to medications can be found in the forms of behavioral and cognitive therapy to treat these symptoms.  Further research should be performed to find out if the results of over diagnosis or a changing cultural acceptance to drug therapy and what particular causes attribute to diagnosis of ADHD changing throughout lifespan development.

Annotated Bibliography

LeFever, G & Arcona, A. (2003) ADHD Among American Schoolchildren. The Scientific Review of Mental Health Practice. Volume 2 (1). Retrieved from www.srmhp.org

LeFever & Arcona find a substantial increase in the diagnosis of Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and the subsequent use of psychostimulants used to treat behavioral problems in children.  The authors review the history of the disorder and diagnostic criteria as compared to today’s statistical data.  Researchers examine the rates of administered medication in two school districts in Virginia during the 1995-1996 school year to examine criteria as described in the DSM-IV, along with gender and ethnicity factors to determine if a significant rate of diagnosis exists.  This article will contribute to support or reject the question of over diagnosis of ADHD in children and offers a variation in gender and race diagnosis for future research on biases.

Bruchmüller, Katrin; Margraf, Jürgen; Schneider, Silvia. Is ADHD Diagnosed in Accord with Diagnostic Criteria? Over-diagnosis and Influence of Client Gender on Diagnosis. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, Dec 26, 2011.

Authors look into the unequal male-female ratio of ADHD diagnosis as compared to the criteria in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th ed.; DSM-IV) and the International Classification of Diseases (10th rev.; ICD-10.  It is suggested that ADHD diagnosis is children is based upon a concept of the disorder instead of the diagnostic criteria.  A case vignette is sent to 1,000 child psychologists and social workers for potential diagnosis. Result statistics are then compared to formal criteria to examine diagnostic biases.

Firmin, M. & Phillips, A. (2009). A Qualitative Study of Families and Children Possessing Diagnoses of ADHD.  Journal of Family Issues (September, 2009) vol 30, pp. 1155-1174, doi:10.1177/0192513X09333709

Firmin & Philips conduct a qualitative study of 17 families to find the challenges that parents encounter with raising a child diagnosed with ADHD.  They notice three themes found with most families observed.  1) Parents are more observant of the needs of their children and the adaptations needed within the family.  2) Mornings and afternoons are more difficult than evenings with their participants with the exception of homework time.  3) Families exhibit structural routines when going about daily life with their ADHD children.

American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed., text rev.). Washington, DC: Author.

American Psychological Association’s reference for diagnostic criteria of metal disorders.

Semrud-Clikeman, M., Pliszka, S., & Liotti, M. (2008). Executive functioning in children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder: Combined type with and without a stimulant medication history. Neuropsychology, 22(3), 329-340. doi:10.1037/0894-4105.22.3.329

Researchers compare the behavioral and neuropsychological functioning in children diagnosed with ADHD that receive medication to children with no history of medication treatment.  Measures were taken on achievement, executive functioning, verbal working memory, and behavior.  The goal of the authors is to find out if medically treated children perform better or worse than those that have chosen not to take prescription medication for the disorder.

Sibley, M.H., Pelham, W.R., Molina, B.G., Gnagy, E.M., Waschbusch, D.A., Garefino,          A.C., & Karch, K.M. (2012). Diagnosing ADHD in adolescence.  Journal Of Consulting And Clinical Psychology, 80(1), 139-150. doi:10.1037/a0026577

This study examines adolescents that were diagnosed with ADHD as children.  The objective of researchers is to find out if there is a difference in symptom reduction at the time of adolescence compared to their original diagnosis in childhood.  The goal of the study is to prove a decrease in symptoms in order to suggest a change in diagnostic criteria for adolescents in the DSM-IV.

Purpura, D.J., Wilson, S.B., & Lonigan, C.J. (2010). Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms in preschool children: Examining psychometric properties using item response theory.  Psychological Assessment, 22(3), 546-558 doi:10.1037/a0019581

Purpura, Wilson & Lonigan assess the eighteen items used for diagnosis of ADHD for relevance to the disorder.  In this study, 268 preschool children were examined using an item response theory analysis.  Psychometric properties of ADHD symptoms were calculated via dichotomous and polytomous scoring.  It was found that current symptoms do relate and are helpful in diagnosing ADHD in children.  Some symptoms were indicated as needing further research.

References

LeFever, G & Arcona, A. (2003) ADHD Among American Schoolchildren. The Scientific      Review of Mental Health Practice. Volume 2 (1). Retrieved from http://www.srmhp.org

Bruchmüller, Katrin; Margraf, Jürgen; Schneider, Silvia. Is ADHD Diagnosed in Accord with Diagnostic Criteria? Over-diagnosis and Influence of Client Gender on Diagnosis. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, Dec 26, 2011.

Firmin, M. & Phillips, A. (2009). A Qualitative Study of Families and Children Possessing Diagnoses of ADHD.  Journal of Family Issues (September, 2009) vol 30, pp. 1155-1174, doi:10.1177/0192513X09333709

American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th ed., text rev.). Washington, DC: Author.

Sibley, M.H., Pelham, W.R., Molina, B.G., Gnagy, E.M., Waschbusch, D.A., Garefino,          A.C., & Karch, K.M. (2012). Diagnosing ADHD in adolescence.  Journal Of Consulting And Clinical Psychology, 80(1), 139-150. doi:10.1037/a0026577

Purpura, D.J., Wilson, S.B., & Lonigan, C.J. (2010). Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder symptoms in preschool children: Examining psychometric properties using item response theory.  Psychological Assessment, 22(3), 546-558 doi:10.1037/a0019581

Kellerher, K., & Larson, D. (1998).  Prescription of psychotropics to children in office-based practice.  American Journal of Disabled Children, 143, 855-859.

Van Lier, P.C., Muthen, B. O., van der Sar, R. M., & Crijenen, A.M. (2004). Preventing

Disruptive Behavior in Elementary Schoolchildren: Impact of a Universal Classroom-Based Intervention. Journal of Counsulting And Clinical Psychology, 72(2), 467-478. Doi:10.1037/0022-006X.72.3.467

Diller., L. (1998). Running on Ritalin: A physician reflects on children, society, and performance in a pill.  New York: Bantam Books.

Sinha, G. (2001). New evidence about Ritalin: What every parent should know.  Popular Science, 48-52.

Health Care Financing Administration. (2001). National health expenditures projections: 2000-2010.  Retrieved from http://www.hcfa.gov/stats/NHSProj/proj2000/default.html.

Aras, S. S., Tas, F., & Unlu, G. G. (2007). Medication prescribing practices in a child and adolescent psychiatry outpatient clinic.  Child: Care, Health And Development, 33(4), 487-490.  Doi:10.1111/j.1365-2214.2006.00703.x

Corrin, E.G. (2004). Child group training versus parent and child group training for young children with ADHD.  Dissertation Abstracts International, 64, 7B.

Fabiano, G.A. (2007). Father participation in behavioral parent training for ADHD.  Journal of Family Psychology, 21, 683-693.

Labauve, B.J. (2003). Systemic treatment of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.  Journal of Systemic therapies, 22, 44-45.

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