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Thinking About Causes of Children’s Behavior – Trajectories
Course Blog for Developmental Psychopathology (PSY330; Spring 2020)

Thinking About Causes of Children’s Behavior

In class this week, we discussed thoroughly about the Theories & Causes of Abnormal Behavior, and we related this information back to a case we read (David). In class on Friday, we discussed how there are multiple influences that factor into why David behaves the way he does. We focused on biological, emotional, behavioral/cognitive, and family, social and cultural influences. Personally, something that I found to be really eye-opening was the family systems perspective, and how, when looking at David’s case, we should not just be looking at David as the center of the “issue” or “problem”, but instead looking at everything that David is exposed to, and how all of these influences are factors that affect the way in which David lives and behaves.

            Something that many individuals want to immediately do when reading about David’s case is diagnose David with a disorder, and only consider what is directly presented at that exact moment in time. I am not going to lie, I even began to do this when first reading about David’s case. However, in class, physically drawing out the family systems perspective, and seeing how David has so many other influencers outside of just himself was a surprise to me, because this exercise of drawing and seeing who is connected to David and how they are connected shows that there is more than what meets the eye, and there is more than just an initial observation of David. Something that also coincides with this notion is Bronfenbrenner’s Ecological Model of Environmental Influences. Usually, as the observer of an individual, it is so easy to look at things in a micro-level manner (e.g., microsystem: peers, siblings, classroom, family). However, David’s case needs to be looked at in the macro-level of things. There is more than what is visibly seen, and it is important to take into account all that is beyond just the child and the immediate connections (mesosystem, exosystem, and macrosystem).

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