chapter 2 explanations of child behavior disturbance

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  • Chapter 2Explanations of Child Behavior Disturbance

  • Brain and Behavior: The Neuroscience of DisordersFour types of abnormality in normal gene replication that can cause physical or mental problems A single defective gene Recessive genes Disarranged or excessively replicated gene sequences Incompletely divided chromosomes

  • Some Basic Concepts of GeneticsPolygenic Model: Multiple genetic abnormalities are usually required for a person to develop a disorderA few serious and progressive neurological disorders (Huntingtons Chorea), and some types of mental retardation (Down syndrome) have genetic basisHowever, little or no accepted evidence of a genetic basis for behavior disorders

  • Behavioral GeneticsAims to discover the contributions of genes to many human behaviorsBehavioral geneticists study similarities in the most closed related individuals (identical twins)Adoption studies examine what disorders are genetic versus developmentalStudies reveal that genes underlie family similarities in many skills and behaviors

  • Evaluation of Genetic Models of AbnormalityCritics charge environment can account for many similarities in twinsStudying identical and fraternal twins reared apart should be a stronger testU. of Minnesota study reported personality similarities among adult identical twins separated at birthBut researchers did not report lists of dissimilarities

  • Evaluation of Genetic Models of AbnormalityEffect of genes may be indirect Reciprocal gene-environment model: genetic endowment increases a persons chances of entering or creating particular types of social situations Genetic vulnerabilities can increase a persons exposure to the very situations that create problems for that personPerils of Genetics Research

  • Perils of Behavioral Genetics ResearchVery difficult to connect specific genes with specific psychological disordersComplex and subtle contributions of many genes more difficult to traceMany psychological disorders difficult to diagnoseMany of the presumed causal paths cannot be traced

  • No perfect correspondence between brain structure, genes or biochemistry and behavior disorder

    Genetic endowment most often creates predispositions to develop certain disorders, given a particular set of biological and environmental conditions

  • Structure and Functions of the Brain(CNS) Central Nervous System brain and spinal cord (PNS) Peripheral Nervous System somatic and autonomic nervous systems Brain contains billions of neurons (nerve cells) Neurotransmitters: chemicals that cross gap between neurons to transmit or inhibit nerve impulses. An excess or deficiency of various neurotransmitters is thought to be involved in many mental disorders

  • Structure and Function of the BrainSome NeurotransmittersSerotonin: Acts on information processing and modes. Low activity levels in suicide, aggression, sexual excesses, impulsive overeatingGABA: Reduces anxiety, inhibits behaviors and emotions, reduces overall arousal, reduces emotional responses

  • Structure and Function of the BrainNorepinephrine: May act to generally regulate or moderate behavioral tendencies

    Dopamine: Activates other neurotransmitters to inhibit or facilitate emotions and behavior. Associated with Parkinsons disease and possibly with schizophrenia

  • Links between Brain, Behavior and PsychopathologyCerebral Cortex: contains most of the neurons of the CNS and has 4 lobes (frontal, parietal, temporal, and occipital) that have different functionsHYPAC: hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenalcortical axis is made up of the hypothalamus and endocrine systemBrain sites below cerebral cortex (midbrain, cerebellum, pons, medulla oblongata and spinal cord) associated with more automatic functions

  • A Psychodynamic Explanation: Freuds Psychoanalytic TheoryFour main themes of Freuds personality theoryIrrationality of humansUnconscious aggression, sexual jealousy, anxietyFormation of personality in early childhoodNeed to recognize and overcome early irrational feelings about parents

  • Structure of PersonalityComposed of three systems (not anatomical locations, but constructs to explain irrational and conflicted human behaviorId: first and most primitive component, seeks immediate gratificationEgo: operates more realistically, decision making executive branch of personalitySuperego represents the harsh moral code derived from what child believes strict, unforgiving parents want, drives person to try to meet impossibly high standards

  • Stages of Psychosexual Personality DevelopmentFreud thought most of adult personality formed in first 5 yearsOral stage: too much or too little oral gratification can produced oral fixationAnal stage: over eagerness to please others with tangible creations, compulsivity about cleanlinessPhallic stage: resolution of Oedipal Complex

  • Evaluation of Freuds TheoryDemolished general beliefs that children lack sexual interests and adults behave rationallyPsychoanalysis: an intervention for psychologically disturbed people that guided psychiatric assessment and treatment for decades

  • Evaluation of Freuds TheoriesCriticismsPsychoanalytic theories more self-contradictory, more complex, and less parsimonious than competing theoriesLack of rigorous researchLack of empirical evidence to support effectivenessDated

  • Freuds Heritage: Eriksons Ego TheoryEgo Identity individuals healthy solution to a sequence of identity crises associated with each psychological stage

  • Ego Theory: StagesAutonomy vs. shame and doubt (infant)Initiative vs. guilt (3-5)Industry vs. inferiority (before puberty)Identity versus isolation (adolescence)

  • Ego Theory: StagesIntimacy vs. isolation (young adulthood)Generativity versus stagnation (maturity)Integrity versus despair (old age)

  • Ego Theory: EvaluationNot much more focused or scientifically verifiable than Freuds theory

  • Freuds Heritage: Attachment TheoryOne of the most influential explanations of early social and emotional adjustmentNormal social development throughout formative years based on infants developing trust in attachment figure

  • Attachment Theory: EvaluationDifficult distinguish between effects of early attachment quality and later relationships with parentsInsufficient evidence that early troubled attachment strongly predicts later psychopathology

  • Freuds Heritage: Object Relations TheoryObject relations refers not to physical objects but to human social and emotional relationsTheory stresses lasting influence of early relationships with important othersChild forms stable internalized beliefs about himself and other people

  • Freuds Heritage: Object Relations TheoryIntrojection child imitates and identifies with the mother and others, viewing herself as others doInternalization child thinks of herself as dumb or bright, good or bad, reacting as though person who was the original attachment object was still present

  • Conditioning, Learning, and Cognitive Psychology Explanations

  • Skinners Operant Learning ModelTwo basic types of learning operant and respondentOperant conditioning involves voluntary and purposeful behaviors

  • Skinners Operant Learning ModelOperant behavior alters or operates on the physical or social environment and is cued by situations that precede itDiscriminative stimuli stimuli that certain behaviors can be reinforcedReinforcing consequences any event that strengthens a preceding operant response or makes it more likely to occur

  • Skinners Operant Learning ModelOperant Behavior can be eliminated through extinction Extinction when usual reinforcement is completely withheld for a prolonged period

  • Punishment and Negative ReinforcementNegative reinforcement increases the rate of behavior it follows exactly as positive reinforcement doesOperant behavior is repeated because it removes an aversive stimulusPunishment delivery of an aversive stimulus following some action, which reduces future probability of that behavior

  • Evaluation of SkinnerSkinner provided focused, general, easily understood and parsimonious explanation of human behaviorSome say he is too grounded in animal research to explain complex human activitiesBehavioral geneticists argue that some behavior is hereditary and not learned

  • Banduras Social Cognitive TheoryHumans can exert great control over our own conduct regardless of external influencesA persons interpretation of an event is the chief determinant of that persons reaction. Humans adept at observational learning (imitation, modeling)

  • Sources of childrens abnormal behaviorExposure to socially deviant modelsInsufficient reinforcementInappropriate reinforcement or reinforcement of undesirable behaviorFaulty learningFictional reinforcement contingenciesFaulty self-reinforcement

  • Self-Efficacy and BehaviorTheory attempts to explain the mutual interacting influences of peoples self-perceptions and their behaviorSelf-Efficacy Your belief in your own abilitySelf-efficacy convictions can be self-fulfilling