Learning Center Articles

Children and Adolescents : Child’s behavior indicates emotional problems

Children and Adolescents

  • It is often difficult to determine whether a child’s behavior indicates emotional problems.
  • An emotional problem exists if behavioral manifestations:
    • Are not age appropriate
    • Deviate from cultural norms
    • Interfere with adaptive functioning
  • Intellectual developmental disorder (I D D) has its onset prior to age 18 years and is characterized by impairments in measured intellectual performance and adaptive skills across multiple domains.

Theory

  • Genetic Factors
    • Research studies have linked genetic mutations to autism spectrum disorder, although no one gene has been identified to cause this.
    • Temperament, the style of behavior habitually used to cope with demands of the environment, is a constitutional factor thought to be genetically determined.
    • In the case of the difficult-child temperament, the caregiver is unable to respond positively to the child, there is an increased risk of insecure attachment, developmental problems, and mental disorders
    • Individuals, including children reacting in different ways to the same situation based on their unique temperament.
  • Biochemical Factors
    • This includes alterations in neurotransmitters such as inadequate norepinephrine and serotonin levels which are related to depression and suicide.
  • Environmental Factors
    • This cause stress to children and adolescents and shape their development psychological conditions.
    • Traumatic events such as marital discord, overcrowding parental mental illness have been linked to lead to higher probability of mental and physical issues occuring

Autism Spectrum Disorder

  • Autism spectrum disorder (A S D) is characterized by a withdrawal of the child into the self and into a fantasy world of his or her own creation.
  • Prevalence is about 1 in 59 children.
  • A S D occurs more often in boys than in girls.
  • Onset occurs in early childhood.
  • A S D often runs a chronic course.