Abnormal Child Psychology: A Developmental Perspective (Hardback) book cover

Abnormal Child Psychology

A Developmental Perspective

By Linda Wilmshurst

© 2009 – Routledge

668 pages

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Paperback: 9781138965706
pub: 2015-11-24
Hardback: 9780415953634
pub: 2008-08-29
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pub: 2008-08-29
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About the Book

Abnormal Child Psychology: A Developmental Perspective is intended for undergraduate and Masters-level students enrolled in courses in Abnormal Child and Adolescent Psychology. Written from a developmental perspective, the book is organized around five prominent and recurring themes: the course of normal development proceeds in an orderly and predictable direction; maladaptive behaviors represent deviations from the normal path; maladaptive behavior is represented by a continuum of severity (symptoms, syndromes, disorders) based on the degree to which behaviors deviate from the norm; individual, interpersonal, contextual and cultural factors interact in a reciprocal way to influence normal development and abnormal deviations; theoretical input from diverse perspectives can guide our understanding of underlying processes that precipitate and maintain behaviors and the different developmental pathways that might result.

The text provides students with a learning model which incorporates three essential cornerstones, which are pivotal to understanding child and adolescent psychopathology: the K3 paradigm that consists of knowledge of developmental expectations, knowledge of the sources of influence, and knowledge of the theoretical models. Each chapter opens with a case illustration to highlight the themes of the material that follows. The chapters conclude with a Summary Review, Glossary of New Terms and a Set of Review Questions.


“Abnormal child psychology can be quite confusing, even inchoate, for the newcomer. Yet, Wilmshurst presents introductions to the various facets of the field that are clear and concise. Instructors will find this a useful volume offering many issues for discussion, while students will find it a pleasant read and can easily go beyond the material presented by consulting the abundant references provided.”

- Byron P. Rourke, PhD, LLD, C Psych, ABPP-CN, FRSC, University of Windsor, Yale University School of Medicine

“The textbook addresses a need in the area of child psychopathology. Its focus on the real world application of diagnostic criteria separates it from other texts in the field. This is a valuable textbook for any student intending to go into an applied psychological field that deals with children and families.”

- Dan Florell, PhD, NCSP, assistant professor at Eastern Kentucky University

“In this concise and engaging work, Wilmshurst provides a thorough review of psychopathological disorders of childhood and adolescence. It is required reading for anyone (e.g. future clinical or school practitioners) interested in understanding abnormal child psychology within a developmental perspective.”

- Alan W. Brue, PhD, NCSP, faculty member with Capella University, practicing school psychologist and co-author of A Parent's Guide to Special Education

Table of Contents

Part I: The Foundations of Abnormal Child Psychology: A Developmental Perspective. Abnormal Child Psychology: Past, Present and Future. Understanding Abnormal Development: Theoretical Perspectives. Understanding Abnormal Development: Risks, Protective Factors and Culturally Diverse Youth. Developmental Considerations in Research and Practice: Ethical Issues and Research Methods. Issues in Diagnosis, Assessment and Treatment. Part II: Emotional, Behavioral and Learning Difficulties in Children and Youth: Their Nature and Their Course. Part IA: Internalizing Problems: An Introduction. Anxiety Disorders With Likely Onset in Childhood. Anxiety Disorders with Likely Onset in Adolescence and Stress Disorders. Mood Disorders: Depression, Bipolar Disorder and Suicide. Part IB: Externalizing Problems: An Introduction. Behavioral Problems and Disruptive Disorders. Part II: Problems of Attention and Learning: An Introduction. Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD). Part III: Problems of Late Childhood or Adolescence: An Introduction. Eating Disorders. Substance Abuse and Abuse Among Youth. Part IV: Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities and Pervasive Developmental Disorders: An Introduction. Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities. Pervasive Developmental Disorders.

About the Author

Linda Wilmshurst, Ph.D., ABPP, is professor of Child and Adolescent Psychology at Elon University. Previously she has held academic positions in the psychology departments at Texas Women’s University, University of Houston, Victoria and the University of Western Ontario. Linda is a Diplomate in Clinical Psychology, American Board of Professional Psychology, and is a licensed clinical and school psychologist.

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
PSYCHOLOGY / Developmental / Adolescent
PSYCHOLOGY / Developmental / Child
PSYCHOLOGY / Psychopathology / Compulsive Behavior

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