Psych 740: Developmental Psychopathology

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

Course Summary: 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.

Course Outcomes:

  • Knowledge of the child and adolescent disorders: You will gain a deeper understanding about the most common child and adolescent disorders of the DSM-5.
  • Intellectual and practical skills: You will develop your critical thinking skills. You will learn to question how conclusions are drawn from the data and to discern the connection (or lack thereof) between scientific studies and their applications to the real world.
  • Personal and social responsibilities: You think about research as a tool for affecting change for all people, and not just for selective (i.e., majority) populations. You will be introduced to the tension between science and clinical practice in the field and develop the foundations and skills for bridging this gap (as opposed to widening it by only focusing on one aspect).
  • Integrative learning: You will be exposed to an array of material from within the psychological sciences (clinical psychology, developmental psychology) as well as from disciplines outside of psychology, including public health, epidemiology, neuroscience, and genetics.

Course Format: Each class will generally follow a “lecture-discussion” format. For the lectures, I will post an outline of what will be covered prior to class to facilitate your notetaking. To make sure you get the latest possible content, outlines will be posted the day of class, but sometimes earlier. Discussions should primarily focus on the assigned readings.