Dr. Li has been teaching undergraduate and graduate level courses in developmental psychopathology and behavioral genetics at UW-Madison since 2015.  Please see below for a summary of his usual course offerings. Please contact Dr. Li directly if you are interested in obtaining his syllabi.

Course Type: Undergraduate depth (typical enrollment: ~125)
Instructor: Professor James Li
Requisites: Psych 405 or 460 (or Psych 509 or 560 prior to Fall 2017)
Course Credits: 4 credits
Normally taught: Usually every fall semester

This course provides an introduction to the scientific study of child psychopathology. Students will not only learn about the basic phenomenology and treatments for the most common mental disorders of childhood, but they will also have the opportunity to disentangle some of the more controversial issues in the field. For instance, what factors have led to the rise in ADHD diagnosis in this country, and around the world? What are evidenced-based treatments, and why aren’t they more widely used in mental health settings? We will use a variety of learning approaches (e.g., demonstrations of evidenced-based treatments for children and families, debates and discussions, guest lectures) to help students appreciate the challenges inherent in the study (and treatment) of child psychopathology.

Course Type: Undergraduate capstone (typical enrollment: ~25)
Instructor: Professor James Li
Requisites: Psych 225 and Psych 285
Course Credits: 3 credits
Normally Taught: Usually every other spring semester

What’s more important: genes or how you were raised? The question of nature versus nurture has been debated for centuries and has often ignited heated debates and controversies. Today, the issue is no longer a question of nature versus nurture (nearly all experts agree that both are important) but has shifted to: how does nature interact with nurture? For instance, how do your genes affect the way you respond to stressful life events? If a disorder is highly heritable (e.g., schizophrenia), what can we do to prevent its course for happening? Answers to these questions will have profound implications on public policies and mental health treatments down the line. In this capstone course, you will learn about how genes and environments interact to make us who we are by following the journey of Elyse Schein and Paula Bernstein, identical twins who were separated at birth and met for the first time as adults. Using their stories as backdrops, you will learn more about how genes and environment independently and interactive influence the development of major mental illnesses. You will be exposed to perspectives and methods from across disciplines, including philosophy, sociology, epidemiology, medicine, and psychology, to learn about how modern advances in genetics have led to a promising future for mental health, but one that is also fraught with ethical dilemmas and potentially perilous repercussions.

Course Type: Graduate only
Instructor(s): Professor James Li
Requisites: Consent of instructor
Normally Taught: Even year spring semesters

This course will provide foundational knowledge on some of the most prevalent childhood and adolescent disorders of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5).  Throughout the course, we will use a scientific (i.e., developmental psychopathology) lens to also explore the science, controversies, and important critical issues pertaining to child and adolescent mental disorders. The major learning objectives are two-fold: 1) to help you develop a deeper understanding of mental disorders as they occur in children and adolescents, and 2) to explore and address some of the core issues surrounding the science and treatment for these disorders through a developmental psychopathology framework. Note that a separate course in the Clinical Foundations series focuses on Adult Psychopathology (Psych 741). Expect some of the content in this class to overlap with material from Psych 741.