Developmental Psychopathology – PSYC 645

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

Exploration of developmental pathways, including specific disorders and their contexts, and risk/resilience. Special attention devoted to normal and deviant development, and principles of adaptive functioning.




This course is designed to acquaint students with the major concepts, theories, methodologies, and empirical findings in the field of developmental psychopathology. Students will learn to critically evaluate and apply current theory and research in order to understand the biological, psychological, and sociocultural factors associated with the development of psychopathology in children and adolescents. Finally, students will learn to integrate basic and applied psychological theory and practice with a biblical perspective and a Christ-centered approach to assessing, diagnosing, and treating young people who suffer from psychological disorders.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

    1. Evaluate the central theoretical models and empirical findings in the field of developmental psychopathology.
    2. Explain the major techniques used in research, assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of child and adolescent behavioral, cognitive, and emotional disorders.
    3. Examine current research in the field of developmental psychopathology as it relates to real-world applications.
    4. Demonstrate understanding of the biopsychosocial mechanisms associated with behavioral, cognitive, and emotional disorders in the context of typical human development.
    5. Discuss a biblical worldview as it relates to critical issues in the study of etiology, diagnosis, and treatment of psychopathology in children and adolescents.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations (MLO: A, B, C, D, E)

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Discussion Board Forums (2)

Discussion boards are collaborative learning experiences. Therefore, the student will create a thread of 350–400 words using course-related knowledge to address the assigned topic, as well as submit replies of at least 200 words to 2 other classmates’ threads. Each thread and reply must contain at least 1 scholarly citation and 1 biblical reference. Current APA format must be used. (MLO: A, B, C, D, E)

Treatment Evaluation Presentation

The student will create a 5–7-minute PowerPoint or Prezi presentation that summarizes and evaluates at least 3 different types of intervention strategies for 1 of the disorders of childhood or adolescence discussed in the course’s required textbook. At least 1 of the therapeutic techniques or interventions must be biblically based. The student must integrate course content, current research, and Scripture into his/her presentation, utilizing the textbook, at least 1 scriptural citation, and at least 3 additional peer-reviewed, primary, scholarly sources. The presentation will be graded based on its content, narration, aesthetics, and adherence to current APA formatting guidelines. (MLO: A, B, C, D, E)

Case Presentations (3)

The student will write 3 Case Presentations in current APA format that summarize the relevant clinical information from and provide treatment recommendations for real-world cases of children and adolescents diagnosed with psychological disorders. The body of each Case Presentation must be 4–5 pages. Each segment of the “Etiology” and “Treatment Recommendations” sections must contain citations of the case file and at least 1 scholarly source to support the student’s rationale. (MLO: A, B, C, D)

Personal Perspective Paper

The student will write a paper in current APA format discussing his or her personal perspective on the causes and treatment of psychopathology using personal, scholarly, and biblical support. The student will critically evaluate various approaches to conceptualizing and treating psychopathology, and analyze them in view of his or her personal background, values, life experiences, and personality. The student will explain which 1 theory and associated therapeutic techniques align most closely with his/her own worldview. The paper must contain a title page, a reference page, and 5–7 pages of expository content. (MLO: A, B, C, D, E)

Quizzes (8)

The student will complete 8 open-book/open-note quizzes. Each quiz will comprise 25 multiple-choice questions and cover the Reading & Study material for the module/week in which it is assigned. The student will have 45 minutes to complete each quiz. (MLO: A, B, C, D)