EDUC5639 Childhood and Adolescent Developmental Psychopathology

6 points
Not available in 2020UWA (Perth)Face to face
This unit develops students' theoretical understanding of child psychopathology and the developmental and lifespan perspectives of disorders and disabilities most commonly found in the child and adolescent mainstream and special education population. The identification element, features definition and assessment (including neuropsychological assessment of executive functions) of disorders and disabilities and the use of DSM-IV are covered. The educational needs associated with children with learning difficulties, communication disorders, physical, intellectual, hearing and visual impairments, disruptive behaviour disorders (ADHD, oppositional defiant disorder and conduct disorder), psychopathy, developmental dyspraxia, intellectual impairment, pervasive developmental disorders and tic disorders provide the focus of the unit. Aspects of developmental psychopathology and family and social systems are also presented. Leading paediatricians and persons with disorders may be involved to provide an understanding of their role and the role of medication (in the case of the former) and their coping strategies (in the case of the latter) in the management of disorders and disabilities. The techniques and strategies used by behavioural and cognitive behavioural analysts (e.g. praise, feedback, principles of reinforcement, time out from positive reinforcement, punishment, behavioural contracts, token economies, visualisation, desensitisation, self management and social skills training programs) in a variety of contexts are discussed. The unit also introduces debates surrounding inclusive education. The use of clinical interview and developmental history assessment techniques are examined and substantiated with practical assignments. The contribution of critical antecedents in early childhood and adolescence in the development of severe disorders is examined in detail, as well as the alternative methods of assessment and treatment. These strategies are examined in the context of classroom management and effective teaching/learning. Visits may include special schools and secure units.
Students are able to (1) understand the historical conceptualisation, aetiology, prevalence, classification and characteristics associated with various categories of psychopathology; (2) differentiate early onset versus adolescent-limited psychopathologies; (3) understand trajectories to juvenile psychopathy; (4) conduct developmental histories; (5) evaluate intervention programs; and (6) understand the major issues in the field of assessment.
Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) case study 1—2500 words and (2) case study 2—1500 words. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Supplementary assessment is not available in this unit.
Unit Coordinator(s)
Professor Stephen Houghton
Contact hours
lectures/seminars: 2 hours per week for 13 weeks
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Books and other material wherever listed may be subject to change. Book lists relating to 'Preliminary reading', 'Recommended reading' and 'Textbooks' are, in most cases, available via the Booktopia Textbook Finder, which has the functionality to search by course code, course, ISBN and title, and may also be posted or available at the appropriate school's administrative offices. Where texts are listed in the unit description above, an asterisk (*) indicates that the book is available in paperback.