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MFTS 543


Syllabus Developmental Psychopathology (MFTS 543) Spring 2009 Instructor: Ana Estrada, Ph.D. Office: MRH- 225E Phone: (619) 260-7547 Email: Office Hours: Mondays & Wednesdays 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., or by appointment Course Title: Developmental Psychopathology Meeting Times: Wednesdays 1:00 - 3:50 p.m.

Classroom: MRH- 201

Required Text:

Mash, E.J., & Barkley, R. A. (Eds.) (2003). Child psychopathology. New York: Guilford. Additional readings on e-reserve at Copley Library (password=developmental). Course Description and Objectives This course is designed to introduce students to the field of developmental psychopathology, which has emerged as a unique discipline (distinct from both developmental and child clinical traditions) in the past two decades. Developmental psychopathology is based on the idea that normative and non-normative developmental processes are inherently intertwined, involving both adaptations and maladaptations. Students will learn about the basic issues underlying this field as well as the most common forms of abnormal development, including the nature and extent of various disorders, common etiologies, and developmental trajectories. By the end of this course, you should be able to explain what developmental psychopathology is and how it differs from other related disciplines, understand how to identify and study developmental deviations, describe some of the most common forms of abnormal development, and clinically apply the knowledge gained throughout this course to diverse populations of children and families. Course Requirements Attendance, participation and pop-quizzes in class: The quality of this seminar depends on your participation. Students should come to class prepared, having done the required readings, and ready to participate. Consistent with the expectations in the MFT program, only one absence is allowed during the semester before it adversely affects your grade. Two absences or more may result in an incomplete or failing grade in this course. In this context, absences are defined as missing more than 15 minutes of class time (e.g., coming in late or leaving early). I also expect that you will inform me, via an email message, before any class meeting that you cannot attend. Quizzes: We will have quizzes at the beginning of class to assess students’ comprehension of the readings. Quizzes are worth 25 total points of your grade. Exams: There will be two exams scheduled on March 4 and April 29, each worth 100 points. Each exam will be composed of essays and clinical vignettes. No make-up exams will be given.

MFTS 543


Developmental Psychopathology Critique: Developmental psychopathology is a general framework or macroparadigm for conceptualizing and understanding general and disorderspecific models of childhood and adolescent psychopathology. For this project, first, you will locate an article in the popular media (e.g., newspaper, newsletters, magazine, web) which focuses on a particular clinical issue/topic from our course. Second, you will formally critique the article based on the theoretical, conceptual tenets and issues, epidemiology, and frameworks of developmental psychopathology (as outlined in Chapter 1 of the text). Please note that these articles must focus on diagnosis and assessment and not on treatment of a developmental disorder. You will prepare a handout for the class and present your critique in class (15 minutes total) on the day we review the disorder you have chosen to critique. This project is worth 25 points and the written critique is due on the day that we review the respective disorder. You are welcome to pair up with another student for this assignment, but each student is required to submit their own written critique (I will not accept more than one copy of the same critique). Academic Integrity To uphold standards of integrity, respect, and fairness, the University of San Diego has developed a policy of academic integrity. In accordance with this Code, all MFT students’ examinations and written assignments must be their own, original, individual work. Students are advised to carefully examine this code at to obtain more information. Violations of the standards of academic integrity will result in appropriate disciplinary action. Letter Grade Distribution A 93% A- 90%

B+ 87% B 83% B- 80%

C+ 77% C 73% C- 70%

D 60% F <60%

Course Outline Week Date

Topics & Readings



Jan 28

Welcome and introduction to the course


Feb 4

Introduction to developmental psychopathology Research issues and clinical applications Chapter 1: Mash & Barkley (2003) Article 1: Holmbeck, Greenley & Franks (2003).


Feb 11

Disorder and Risk for Disorder during Infancy, Childhood & Adolescence Chapter 13: Mash & Barkley (2003) Article 2: Sroufe et al. Article 3: Green & Goldwyn


Feb 18

Externalizing Problems: Attention Deficit Disorders Chapter 2: Mash & Barkley (2003) Article 4: Pelham et al.

MFTS 543

Week Date

Topics & Readings



Feb 25

Externalizing Problems: Conduct & Oppositional Defiant Disorders Chapter 3: Mash & Barkley (2003) Article 5: McMahon et al.


March 4


March 11

Spring Break….. No class meeting…….


March 18

Internalizing Problems: Anxiety Disorders Chapter 6: Mash & Barkley (2003) Article 10: Silverman & Ollendick


March 25

Developmental Disorders: Intellectual Disabilities of Mental Retardation & Learning Disabilities Chapter 11: Mash & Barkley (2003) Chapter 12: Mash & Barkley (2003)


April 1

Developmental Disorders: Autism & Pervasive Developmental Disorders Chapter 9: Mash & Barkley (2003) Article 11: Ozonoff et al.


April 8

Internalizing Problems: Mood Disorders and Suicide Chapter 5: Mash & Barkley (2003) Article 8: Klein et al. Article 9: Youngstrom & Calabrese


April 15

Emotional and Social Disorders: PTSD and Child Maltreatment Chapter 7: Mash & Barkley (2003) Chapter 14: Mash & Barkley (2003) Articles: TBA


April 22

Eating Disorders: Anorexia and Bulimia Chapter 15: Mash & Barkley (2003) Article 15: Cafri et al. Article: 16: Taylor


April 29


May 6

Exam #1

Final Exam TBA


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