Developmental psychology through infancy, childhood, and adolescence

William Yule and Matt Woolgar

in New Oxford Textbook of Psychiatry

Second edition

Published on behalf of Oxford University Press

Published in print February 2012 | ISBN: 9780199696758
Published online October 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191743221 | DOI:
Developmental psychology through infancy, childhood, and adolescence

Show Summary Details


Taking a developmental perspective to mental health issues should apply across the lifespan. Psychiatrists working with adults need to understand where their clients are coming from and where they are going to. They need to understand the pleasures and pressures that children bring to their parents, and where appropriate they should be considering the impact of parental illness on the children. The institutionalized separation of child and adult psychiatry (in terms of service delivery) should not lead to a separation in ways of considering the developmental context of presenting problems. This chapter has shown that there are many small, focused models of development that deal with discrete areas of development. Stage theories emphasize differences at different stages; social learning theories emphasize continuities on processes of development. As long as practitioners are aware that when they say a child is at a particular stage, this is but a rough guide to describing the child, which may be fine. It is when such models are taken literally, that oversimplification leads to poor practice. There is no one overarching theory of child development and while this may be inconvenient for examiners, it truly reflects the rich diversity of human development. By paying more attention to the interactions between biological, social, and psychological factors, a better understanding of healthy, normal development will emerge. Empirical studies will help identify risk and protective factors which in turn will lead to better mental health promotion and more effective interventions when mental disorders manifest.

Chapter.  11585 words. 

Subjects: Psychiatry

Full text: subscription required

How to subscribe Recommend to my Librarian

Buy this work at Oxford University Press »

Users without a subscription are not able to see the full content. Please, subscribe or login to access all content.