Abnormal Psychology in Children

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Abnormal psychology is an aspect of psychology that deals with studying individuals who cannot adapt to different situations. Abnormal psychology focuses on the physical trait portrayed by an individual to one’s personality or other peoples’ life. For instance, if an individual’s behavior causes harm or disrupts one’s life or others, it is considered abnormal and will require medical intervention by specialists. However, individuals with good intelligence are considered geniuses, which is perceived to be a good thing in society (Wilmshurst, 2017). The research below focuses on the different disorders associated with abnormal psychology and different elements that analysts have come up with to help children who are considered psychopaths with these trauma conditions.

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Anxiety disorder causes children to expect failure and can worsen as time goes by. The symptoms of anxiety disorder affect a child’s performance at school. Most individuals worry more about less important and ordinary issues like panic because of attacks and fear. This disorder will make a child antisocial with other children and hence be perceived by others as a psychopath. Psychotic disorders cause children to have abnormal thinking and perception, which might lead to serious illnesses like hallucinations. By seeing things that do not exist and reacting towards them, it makes other individuals associate less with these kinds of children. The psychotic disorder causes children to find it hard to make new friends and to socialize, which is caused by frustration and feeling of hopelessness. Psychotic disorder, however, can be treated through hospitalization or therapy. Post-traumatic stress disorder develops when an individual has witnessed or was involved in a terrifying incident, affecting his mental status. Children undergoing post-traumatic disorder find it hard to socialize with others. The past traumatic experiences make children not easily associate with other people. Therefore, individuals undergoing this illness are advised to seek medical care from a medical examiner with experience in examining individuals with Post Traumatic Disorder conditions (Wilmshurst, 2017). Cognitive disorder deals with individuals’ thoughts and how they affect one’s behavior, how individuals perceive issues, and finally comes up with the final decision to give information on normality.

Children with personality disorders usually think that what they know and do is purely normal and does not affect others in the surrounding. With their negative impacts on other individuals by their wrongdoings, such children with a personality disorder will find it hard creating new friends and airing out their points to be heard as they will be considered to be psychopaths. These young ones usually find it hard to associate with other children and blame them for their problems. Personality disorder can be treated through therapy sessions. Mood disorder includes depressive disorder that affects mental health; major depressive disorders include sadness or hopelessness (Pérez-Álvarez, 2018). The mood disorders lead to complications in relating with other individuals. Children with a mood disorder will, in most cases, get moody over small issues. This will affect their relationship with others hence leading to loneliness and depression. From the story, Michael was unable to keep up with the small children because of the mood disorder. He could mostly scream when told to put on the shoes. In the theory of psychoanalysis (Pérez-Álvarez, 2018), individual behavior is affected by past experiences from the story; Michael’s behavior of screaming every time his parents told him to put on his shoes was affected by his past life experiences. The past behaviors are rooted in the unconscious mind. The psychoanalysis approach is meant to enable an individual to overcome his other negative past life experiences. The practice ensures that the analyst communicates with the patient and develops the theory as to the reason for the current behavioral change. Through the humanistic approach, the analysts can understand individuals by treating them as humans rather than just clients; the humanistic approach ensures that the root cause of an individual behavioral character is determined and a perfect solution is provided (Kring & Johnson, 2018). By also involving a family system approach whereby the whole family is included in the therapy session, this involvement ensures that family ties are built.

The behavioral approach entails that individuals are born with a particular set of behavior which affects how they behave currently. Other traits and behaviors are gotten from environmental factors such as learning. The medical approach focuses on individuals’ bodies and symptoms, leading to individuals exhibiting a certain character and behavior in society. The cognitive approach focuses on the reasoning and thoughts of individuals; this approach tends to explain how individuals work and react to external stimuli. The cognitive theory argues that people’s behavior usually gets tied up with how they perceive the world. The story clearly illustrates that it can be difficult to understand mental disorders in children. During the early stages of development, it is hard to tell how the child might be behaving in a certain way (Kring & Johnson, 2018). The story of Jeffrey Bailey, who pushed a toddler to a swimming pool, provides enough evidence that children under the age of 9 years cannot tell why they do some things.

Improvement in technology has led to improved service delivery in providing treatment and care to mentally ill individuals—the use of psychiatric drugs to cure mental illness, which provides an immediate result. The improved healthcare facilities that currently have trained analysts and medical specialists to offer assistance to people with a mental health condition have reduced the number of individuals suffering from different mental illnesses. Children with abnormal psychology should not be considered to be psychopaths but should be well provided with good medical guidance and psychiatric drugs to cure mental health. Early treatment of these conditions will prepare them for a brighter future and awareness of the importance of socialization with their peers.


Kring, A. M., & Johnson, S. L. (2018). Abnormal psychology: The science and treatment of psychological disorders. John Wiley & Sons.

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Pérez-Álvarez, M. (2018). Psychology as a science of subject and comportment, beyond the mind and behavior. Integrative Psychological & Behavioral Science, 52(1), 25–51.

Wilmshurst, L. (2017). Abnormal Child Psychology. In Abnormal Child and Adolescent Psychology (pp. 3–26). Routledge.

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PsychologyWriting. 2022. "Abnormal Psychology in Children." August 3, 2022. https://psychologywriting.com/abnormal-psychology-in-children/.

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PsychologyWriting. "Abnormal Psychology in Children." August 3, 2022. https://psychologywriting.com/abnormal-psychology-in-children/.