Psychology 440

PSYC 440: Abnormal Child Psychology

Prerequisite: PSYC 121

Credit Hours: (3)

Provides a survey of the most common childhood and adolescent psychological disorders. Topics will include theories of abnormal psychological development, current classification (DSM) and assessment techniques, and treatments.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

  • Theories of Abnormal Development
    1. Meta models
    2. Biological bases of behavior
    3. Learning theory models
    4. Psychological models
  • Classification and Assessment
    1. Review of current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM)
    2. Objective, projective, and intellectual measures
  • Externalizing Disorders
    1. Conduct Disorder
    2. Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
    3. Oppositional Defiant Disorder
  • Internalizing Disorders
    1. Anxiety Disorders
    2. Mood Disorders (e.g. Major Depression, Bi-Polar I)
  • Developmental and Learning Disorders
    1. Mental Retardation
    2. Autism
    3. Specific Learning Disorders and Communication Disorders


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

Course will typicall be conducted using lecture, discussion, videos, writing assignments and projects.


Goals and Objectives of the Course

Having completed the course, students will be familiar with common psychological problems of childhood and adolescence, including their typical age of onset, common symptom patterns, gender differences, course of the disorder, and common treatments.


Assessment Measures

A variety of assessment methods including essay exams, projects, presentations, multiple choice exams, and research papers may be used to assess knowledge.


Other Course Information



Review and Approval

October 2001 Updated and put in new format Alastair V. E. Harris