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For this Discussion, review this week’s Learning Resources and select two of the criteria used for diagnosing psychological disorders. Consider why they are important in determining a child or adolescent’s behavioral issues.

Post by Day 3 a description of the two criteria you selected. Then explain how these two characteristics are beneficial in determining whether a child or adolescent’s behavior is abnormal. Be specific and provide supporting evidence from the empirical literature.

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Support your Discussion with specific references to the resources. Be sure to provide full APA citations for your references.

The Study notes are attached below thanks!

Study Notes

In 1838, Jean-Étienne Dominique Esquirol, reported on the cases of children, whom have been referred to as little homicidal monomaniacs.

1. An 11-year-old girl who pushed two infants into a well and was known for evil habits

2. An 8-year-old girl who threatened to kill his stepmother

3. An 8-year-old boy, who had been tossed about among relatives, refused to play, had temper tantrums, and expressed regrets that her mother did not die

How many of us would be in trouble if such criteria were used today? The first attempt at description and classification was quite crude, including “maniacal insanity” and “masturbatory insanity” (Mash & Wolfe, 2019, p. 6). Later the words problem children and unstable were used.

It was not until the 1940s and 1950s that professionals started to study problems from the point of view of diagnosis, etiology, therapy, and prognosis. It was around this time that public education became involved with maladaptive behavior in children. It was strange that a historical review of disturbed children showed that the literature prior to the 1950s basically occupied itself with what is now called schizophrenia.

It was almost impossible to find a definition of the term “emotionally disturbed children.” This has led to the need for a more useful classification system. There has been much disagreement as to whether the terminology should be based on the symptoms (description), the etiology (explanatory), the prognosis (outcome), or on a combination of these factors. The DSM series is now one of the most accepted classification systems.

There are certain assumptions that go into developing a classification system:

1. Behaviors do not occur randomly.

2. To be diagnosed, individuals must exhibit undesirable behavior.

3. The behavior in question is not just a normal variation of accepted behavior.

4. Different syndromes may have different treatments.

You should always be cautious in putting a label on a child. It is better to describe the condition the child has such as “a child with schizophrenia” rather than say “a schizophrenic child”.” The former suggests the child is more than just schizophrenic (Mash & Wolfe, 2019, p. 12). There have been other attempts at classification besides the DSM series. Some of the attempts include:

1. Presenting complaints that are grouped in clusters or categories such as aggression, passivity, etc.

2. Using etiology – Is the behavior organic or functional? The functional comprise the bulk of what is commonly referred to as “behavior problems in childhood.”

3. Considering who suffers – The differentiation is made on the basis of the effect of the behavior rather than on its cause. There are two categories: results in suffering for the child or creates suffering for others.

4. Using learning theory – This behavior involves lack of learning, inappropriate learning, or learning conflict (Mash & Wolfe, 2019, p. 102).

Today, one of the most commonly use systems is the DSM series. The American Psychiatric Association developed the DSM in 1952 and revised it in 1968, 1980, 1987, 1994, and 2000. The current issue is the DSM-5, which was published in 2013. The revisions in this version focus more on children and provide explicit criteria for classification.

When performing a comprehensive psychological testing evaluation of a child, one might consider using some of the following:

1. Behavior rating scales and screening instruments

2. Scales of cognitive ability

3. Measures of language and learning

4. Educational achievement

5. Personality/social assessment

6. Teacher and parent reports

7. School records

However, the reason for referral should decide what tests to use and which areas to evaluate.


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