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Attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD)

Syndrome marked by inability to control attention, impulses, and organizing behavior to accomplish long-term goals. Increased risk for developing conduct disorder. More common in boys than in girls.

Conduct Disorder

Syndrome marked by chronic disregard for the rights of others, including specific behaviors such as stealing, lying, and engaging in acts of violence. More common in boys than in girls and is highly stable across childhood and adolescence. Parents who are harsh and inconsistent in their discipline practices and who model aggressive, antisocial behavior.

Oppositional Defiant Disorder

Syndrome of chronic misbehavior in childhood marked by belligerence, irritability, and defiance. Easily angered and tend to violate rules and requests. Do not tend to be aggressive toward other people or animals, to steal, or to destroy, property.

Etiologies of ADHD

Family with many disruptions, fathers prone to antisocial/criminal behaviors, hostile relationship with mother, catecholamine neurotransmitters, prenatal and birth complications.

ADHD Treatment

Stimulant drugs (increase levels of dopamine) and behavior therapy (reinforcing attentive, goal-directed, and prosocial behaviors and extinguishing impulsive and hyperactive behaviors)

Treatment for Conduct and Oppositional Defiant Disorders

Cognitive-behavioral therapy, focusing on changing children's ways of interpreting interpersonal situations and helping them control their angry impulses, "Self-talk," discuss real and hypothetical situations/practice appropriate responses

Separation Anxiety Disorder

Syndrome of childhood and adolescence marked by the presence of abnormal fear or worry over becoming separated from one's caregiver(s) as well as clinging behaviors in the presence of the caregiver(s)

Separation Anxiety Disorder Etiology

Children are born with an inhibited, fearful temperament, traumatic and uncontrollable events that cause chronic uncontrollability, parents may encourage fearful behavior or not encourage independence. More common in girls.

Separation Anxiety Disorder Treatment

Cognitive-Behavioral therapy (coping, challenging cognitions, relaxation exercises, challenge fears about separation, increased periods of separation from parents)


Diagnosis given to children at least age 5 who wet the bed or their clothes at least twice a week for 3 months. Etiology: genetic, anxiety/conflicts, inappropriate toilet training. More common of the elimination disorders.

Bell and Pad Method

A pad placed under a sleeping child to detect traces of urine sets off a bell when urine is detected, awakening the child to condition him or her to wake up and use the bathroom before urinating


Diagnosis given to children who are at least age 4 and who defecate inappropriately at least once a month for 3 months. Begins after severe episodes of constipation. Treated with medication and behavioral contracting.

Developmental Coordination disorder

Disorder involving deficits in the ability to walk, run, or hold on to objects

Expressive Language Disorder

Disorder involving deficits in the ability to express oneself through language

Learning Disorders

Reading disorder, mathematics disorder, and disorder of written expression

Communication Disorders

Expressive language disorder, mixed receptive-expressive language disorder, phonological disorder, and stuttering

Mixed Receptive-Expressive Language Disorder

Deficits in the ability both to express oneself through language and to understand the language of others

Phonological Disorder

Disorder involving the use of speech sounds inappropriate for one's age or dialect


Significant problem in speech fluency, often including frequent repetitions of sounds or syllables

Mental Retardation

Developmental disorder marked by significantly subaverage intellectual functioning (IQ<70), as well as deficits (relative to others) in life skill areas, such as communication, self-care, work, and interpersonal relationships

Biological Factors of Mental Retardation

Metabolic disorders, chromosomal disorders, prenatal exposure to rubella, herpes, syphilis, or drugs, premature delivery, and head trauma

Treatment for Mental Retardation

Behavioral strategies (involvement of parents and caregivers, behavioral modeling), Drug therapy (neuroleptic medications, atypical antipsychotics to reduce aggression, antidepressants), Social Programs (Early intervention, mainstreaming, institutionalization when necessary, group homes that provide comprehensive care)

Pervasive Developmental Disorders

Characterized by severe and lasting impairment in several areas of social interaction, communication with others, and everyday behaviors, interests, and activities. Asperger's, Rett's, childhood disintegrative disorder, and autism.


Childhood disorder marked by deficits in social interaction (lack of interest in one's family or other children), communication (failing to modulate one's voice to signify emotional expression), and activities and interests (bizarre, repetitive behaviors). Must receive continual care. Etiology: genetics, central nervous system damage, prenatal complications, neurotransmitter imbalances. Treatment: drugs, behavior therapy (reduce innappropriate and self-injurious behaviors and encourage prosocial behaviors).

Rett's Disorder/Childhood Disintegrative Disorder

Pervasive developmental disorder in which children develop normally at first but later show permanent loss of basic skills in social interactions, language, and/or movement


Pervasive Developmental disorder characterized by deficits in social skills and activities. Does not include language or cognitive skills, otherwise similar to Autism

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