Child psychopathology

Running head: CHILD PSYCHOLOGY 1
Child psychopathology
Institution of affiliation
Child psychopathology is a scientific study which targets the mental disorders that are
more prevalent in children and in some cases among adolescents. Child the most common
disorders are; autism, hyperactivity disorder and defiant disorders. However, there more focus on
the causes of psychopathology, prevalence and some of the preventive ways. According to
several researches that have been carried out in the past, it is established that child
psychopathology is caused by stress and temperament mostly at the level of child-parents
relationship which indicates that children poor parenting may lead to child psychopathology.
Additionally, it is established that the prevalence is high among female children mostly those
from poor backgrounds. Poverty and gender therefore are contributing factors to the rate of
prevalence of the condition of child psychopathology. Proper education can therefore, be used in
preventing child psychology.
Keywords: child psychopathology, female, children, prevalence, preventive, poverty,
stress, temperament.
Child psychopathology is defined as the study that is scientific nature of the rate of
mental disorders among adolescents and children. Among the examples of psychopathology are
autism spectrum disorder, attention hyperactivity disorder and opposition defiant disorder.
Among the examples that I highlighted are the common disorders that are diagnosed only at the
childhood age. The mental health providers in their diagnosis and treatment of the
psychopathology are guided by the developmental psychology, family systems and clinical child
aid. The list of the child and adolescents disorders are in most are comprised by the International
Statistics Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problem, 10th Edition (ICD-10) that was
published by WHO and the DSM-5, which was published by APA (Wilmshurt, 2012).
Additionally, the Diagnostic Classification of Mental Health and Developmental Disorders of
Infancy and Early Childhood (DC: 0-3R) that is used in the course of assessing the mental health
disorders and the disorders that are related to child development in children are majorly realized
in children at the age of 0-5 years.
Etiology in relation to child psychopathology can be explained in many ways that in most
cases differ from time to time. Either physiological or genetic mechanisms cause most of the
psychopathological disorders that are prevalent in children. However, there are some of the
disorders that lack any physical ground in terms of the actual causes. Therefore, in the causes of
the compilation of the actual causes of the disorders is being undertaken, it is essential for there
to be critical research that is carried out. According to the course of diagnosing psychopathology
in children is a difficult course to undertake on the account that it is majorly influenced by
contest and development not considering that traditional causes of the situation (Wilmshurt,
2012). In this case, not even interviews with parents about their children and how they perform
in school is enough for the diagnosis. Similarly, either the explanations from both teachers and
the observations made by professionals are essential in the diagnosis.
Notably, the disorders that are either biological or physical are easier for diagnosis in
children in the event that course of diagnosis is undertaken during the childhood age. In some
cases, some disorders are complicated to the extents that they cannot be diagnosed at childhood
age until adulthood. Therefore, it is believed that is there are sufficient grounds to perceive the
disorder in terms of the possibility of co-morbidity of disorders (Ollendick, 2013). In this case, if
there is one disorder that is diagnosed, there is often another one that is more likely to be
diagnosed too.
Several types of research indicate that the study revolving child psychopathology is a
complex issue. However, despite the complexity, several causes have been established to cause
the disorder. One of the known causes of psychopathology is stress. In this regard, the emotional
trauma or stress that occurs in a parent-child relationship is a leading cause of
psychopathological on the account the anxiety of separation between in relation to parent-child
relationship is a possible foundation possible future disorders in children. Similarly, there is a
direct correlation between child stress and maternal stress which is fashioned in both throughout
the stages of development. In the event that the mother is absent the prevailing caregiver to the
child is understood within the context of a possible maternal relationship. In this regard, the child
would easily bond with the primary caregiver, excluding some traits of the personality of the
Similarly, the studies that have been undertaken between two pregnancy age groups of
twenty, fifteen and two years that was carried out by Raposa and colleagues on the impacts of
child-maternal relationship and its impacts on mothers stress to the child who is affected. In
their study, the stress of the child was found to affect the mother of the child. The study which as
a result of the historical belief that mothers who had undergone through a post portum
development could be the possible reason as to why their children may suffer from mental
disorders either or both during their childhood or later in their adulthood. However, in their
findings, Raposa and colleagues found out that the victims of post portum depression had a
correlation to reflect on both child psychopathology as a result of maternal depression and the
case where child psychopathology could be a reflection of maternal depression.
Notably, children who are predisposed to psychopathology may lead to greater extents of
stress in their relationship with their maternal parent. On the other hand, the mothers who may
suffer from psychopathology may lead to extents of higher stress in their relationship with the
child. Some grounds are sufficient that have been established to support the account that child
psychopathology leads to the creation of stress during parenting which may lead to an increment
of the extent to which psychopathology is severe to the affected child. Put together, the
underlying factors leads to a push and pull in the relationship which later causes depression of
higher levels, learning disabilities ADHD, and pervasive developmental disorder whose effects
spread to both child and the mother (Ollendick, 2013). The high levels of maternal stress and
mother to child relationship stress that occurs at the age of 15 which is predicted in the higher
levels of maternal depression which the person who is affected reaches the age of 20.
Other than the possible causes of the child psychopathology, it is equally essential to
consider the characteristics that predispose a child to higher risks of suffering from mental
disorder. To begin with, child’s intellectual functioning and temperament have high risks for the
development of psychopathology to the child. In this case, the temperament at early childhood is
described by irregular sleeping patterns, high levels of crying, irritability and to some extent
eating problems. The characteristics of the child in relation to temperament can be used in
predicting the externalizing the behavioral problems of the child at his or her later days of
childhood. In this regard, temperament impacts may be identified to internalize the disorders.
The behaviors that are associated with temperament include timidity, shyness, and distress,
emotional restraints that are exhibited when an individual is exposed to places that are unfamiliar
to him such as places, people and context (Lahey, 2013). In this regard, the behavioral pattern is
related to elevated physiological indices of the degrees of arousal which has been indicated to
have high degrees of the genetic component. The children who demonstrate high stable styles of
temperament in the behavioral inhibition have high probabilities of developing behaviors that are
anxious and anxious disorders in their childhood stages.
Despite most of the underlying evidence indicating that there is a significant extent of
childhood temperament diagnosed at an early childhood stage correlating with the development
of child psychopathology, other psychologists opine that not every child that show high levels of
temperament will suffer from psychopathology in his or her later stages of childhood. In this
regard, there is a need to undertake a consideration of how the temperament exhibited at
childhood stages interacts with other personal and the characteristics of an environment in the
determination for the occurrence of psychopathology. Most importantly, the consideration of
parenting patterns which buffer the impact of a difficult extent of temperament at early childhood
has interactions with environmental and personal factors in the determination of the occurrence
of psychopathology (Lahey, 2013). Particularly, it is essential to make an identification of the
parenting patterns that buffer the effects of the temperament at an early childhood temperament
and the factors that will exacerbate the influence of the risks that are of high characteristics.
Learning difficulty and low IQ are also indicated to have the greater prevalence of the wide
range of behavioural and emotional problems that result in the conduct disorder, depression,
attention deficit, hyperactivity disorder. The mechanisms by which the learning difficulties and
low IQ have impacts to the extent of psychopathology are however not clear. In this regard, there
are chances that school failure and the school experiences that are negative may set in train a
trajectory towards the conduct of the underlying problems like depression and low self-esteem.
Notably, the factors that are biological in relation to learning difficulty and low IQ may be
responsible for the impulsivity and attention of problems temperament for some children. There
is another explanation that underlies in the characteristics that are heritable under which the
parents to the children with learning difficulties and low IQ may have restricted abilities that are
cognitive and consequently have parenting skills that are poor. In this regard, there is a need to
have deeper research geared towards the determination of the mechanisms under which learning
difficulty and low IQ have on child psychopathology. In the meantime, the underlying variables
need to be regarded as risk factors towards which the interventions that are preventive should be
focused on.
Prevalence of child psychopathology
The rates for the overall rate of prevalence in the lifetime for the problems associated
childhood are estimated to be high and in the order of 14%-22% in all the children. Other
reports, however, indicate that the psychiatric disorders among children at the age of 9-11 are
about 6-8%. In London, the epidemiological study which is used in moderating severe behavior
problem for the 7% of the population, which has an additional 15% of children with mild
problems. Notably, in Ontario, the study that was carried out by the by the Ontario Child Health
indicated that boys have a higher prevalence of psychopathological disorders at the rate of 19%
while girls only have a prevalence of 17% (Matson, 2018). The preceding researches that have
been carried out in the similar topic to indicate that the rate of prevalence is almost the same as
indicated. Therefore, boys are exposed to higher prevalence compared to girls.
Similarly, despite the research indicating that most of the children who suffer from
mental health care from the middle-class stratum, mental health disorders are more prevalent
among the children in the lower class. Therefore, it can be estimated that on the account that
about 20% of children in North America have higher prevalence of the disorders, it is, therefore,
established that 20% or more children in North America are from low-income families.
Similarly, about 20% of the children are raised in inner-city poverty have mentally impaired
disorder to the degree in their social, academic and behavioral functioning.
Developing model
In this paper, I will focus on a protective factor that may be used as a moderator in
decreasing the risk of developing childhood psychopathology. Like this paper highlighted before,
there is a correlation between gender and the prevalence of childhood disorder. Therefore, the
model that I am going to use will use gender as an independent variable and particularly female
gender. The outcome variable, on the other hand, will be developing child psychopathology. This
paper, therefore, proposes looking at how proper parenting skills to reduce the prevalence of
child psychopathology.
Parents, mostly those having the first child in their lifetime often do not have the right
parenting skills. As we have seen previously poor parenting skills has impacts that increase the
extent to which an individual is likely to develop child psychopathology. In this case, a child
who undergoes poor parenting is more likely to be exposed to conditions that will make him
develop stress that has a larger effect of leading to cases of psychopathology (Ollendick &
Hersen, 2013). However, it is worth noting that good or bad parenting skills to some extent are
not by the consent because some of them do not understand the extent to which they may expose
their children to stress. Similarly, some families do not have the right environment for child
growth. For instance, for parents who use drugs, the social environment is not appropriate for
child growth because the factors that lead to the development of child psychopathology are
therefore high.
In this case, therefore, the model that I propose in this paper indicates that children,
mostly female (IV), who are not accorded proper parenting at their time of growth (moderator),
are exposed at higher risks of developing the major depressive disorder (DV). Children of the
female gender (IV) who are taken through a good parenting environment, which means that their
parents provide an environment that ensures that they are not stressed are at lower risks of
developing child psychopathology (DV).
Other than just proper parenting I would also examine other ways of reducing the
prevalence of child psychopathology in children. For instance, it is not guaranteed that even the
children brought up in a good social environment will not develop child psychopathology
because there are other factors such as poverty and temperament, low IQ and learning difficulty
that have their impacts in increasing the rate prevalence of child psychopathology. In this case,
proper parenting should be taught to mothers at the pregnancy stage so that they can understand
the best ways of raising the child in an environment that the child will not develop the condition
(Ollendick & Hersen, 2013). Similarly, because other parents bring up their children in an
environment that is not in a good environment, proper policies should be formulated to ensure
that all children are brought up in a good environment.
Similarly, psychological lessons and session should be taught to parents during the
pregnancy period. These prevention programs should not only target the parents and the
pregnancy period, but also to the public so that they can understand the best ways of preventing
psychopathology on the account that it is a condition more prevalent to children and mostly the
female children. Other than right parenting, parents and psychiatrists should too focus on early
detection of the mental disorder. In this regard, most of the conditions can be treated if they are
detected earlier. Therefore, early detection should be considered as one of the preventive ways of
child psychopathology.
In conclusion, child psychopathology is a condition that mostly affects children between
the ages of 0-5. However, research indicates that female children have higher prevalence
compared to male children. In this regard, one of the reasons for the high prevalence is stress and
temperament which are large because of poor parenting. Therefore, prevention of the condition
should mostly focus on ensuring that the children are accorded the right parenting right from the
pregnancy stage to the point when they are past the age of 5. Other than proper parenting
another preventive way that should be considered is the early detection of the disorder because it
can be easily treated. Similarly, it will prevent the case where the condition manifests itself later
in adulthood. If the proper parenting is accorded to the child and also the right mechanism be out
in the place so that an event of early detection and treatment.
Lahey, B. (2013). Advances in Clinical Child Psychology, Volume 6. Berlin: Springer Science &
Business Media.
Matson, J. L. (2018). Handbook of Childhood Psychopathology and Developmental Disabilities
Treatment. Berlin: Springer.
Ollendick, T. H. (2013). Handbook of Child Psychopathology. Berlin: Springer Science &
Business Media.
Ollendick, T. H., & Hersen, M. (2013). Handbook of Child Psychopathology. Berlin: Springer
Science & Business Media.
Wilmshurst, L. (2005). Essentials of Child Psychopathology. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.

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