Divorce is a lengthy developmental process and, in the case of children and adolescents, one that can encompass most of their young lives. This chapter explores the experience of divorce from the perspective of the children, reviews the evidence base and empirical support for interventions. It provides examples of three evidence-based intervention programs, namely, Children in Between, Children of Divorce Intervention Program (CODIP), and New Beginnings, appropriate for use with children, adolescents, and their parents. Promoting protective factors and limiting risk factors during childhood and adolescence can prevent many mental, emotional, and behavioral problems and disorders during those years and into adulthood. The Children in Between program is listed on the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices. The CODIP and the New Beginnings program are also listed on the SAMHSA National Registry of Evidence-Based Programs and Practices.
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Children and youth with serious emotional, behavioral, and social difficulties present challenges for teachers, parents, and peers. Youth who are at risk for emotional and behavioral disorders (EBD) are particularly vulnerable in the areas of peer and adult social relationships. The emphasis on meeting academic standards and outcomes for children and youth in schools has unfortunately pushed the topic of social-emotional development to the proverbial back burner. This chapter emphasizes that social skills might be considered academic enablers because these positive social behaviors predict short-term and long-term academic achievement. Evidence-based practices are employed with the goal of preventing or ameliorating the effects of disruptive behavior disorders (DBD) in children and youth. An important distinction in designing and delivering social skills interventions (SSI) is differentiating between different types of social skills deficits. Social skills deficits may be either acquisition deficits or performance deficits.
Eating disorders (EDs) are a complex and comparatively dangerous set of mental disorders that deeply affect the quality of life and well-being of the child or adolescent who is struggling with this problem as well as those who love and care for him or her. The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) outlines specific criteria for the diagnosis of anorexia nervosa (AN), bulimia nervosa (BN), binge eating disorder (BED), and other specified feeding or ED. Treatment of eating disordered behavior typically involves a three-facet approach: medical assessment and monitoring, nutritional counseling, and psychological and behavioral treatment. Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and interpersonal psychotherapy (IPT) are also evidence-based approaches to treatment for AN. The treatment of EDs should be viewed as a team effort that integrates medical, nutritional, and mental health service providers.
An individual’s identity development, including his or her preferred gender identity, is a lifelong process, which starts with the earliest interactions with the world. The concepts of gender identity have been explored, studied, debated, and discussed for decades and are currently going through a resurgence of examination, especially in Western cultures. This chapter provides an overview of gender identity development, beginning with an explanation of terms, followed by an exploration of theoretical perspectives which includes cognitive developmental theory, social learning theory, gender schema theory and feminist theory. Topics include current research and perspectives on how gender identity evolves in children and recent shifts in understanding atypical gender identities, including transgender, gender neutral, and gender fluid identification. Finally, implications and strategies for mental health professionals are discussed, especially related to counseling those who are experiencing conflict or distress surrounding issues of gender and gender identity.
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) causes two injury types: primary and secondary. In infants and young children, nonaccidental TBI is an important etiology of brain injury and is commonly a repetitive insult. TBI is by far the most common cause of acquired brain injury (ABI) in children and is the most common cause of death in cases of childhood injury. In 2009, the Pediatric Emergency Care Applied Research Network (PECARN) issued validated prediction rules to identify children at very low risk of clinically important TBI, which is defined as TBI requiring neurosurgical intervention or leading to death. The range of outcomes in pediatric TBI is very broad, from full recovery to severe physical and/or intellectual disabilities. Children and adolescents who have suffered a TBI are at increased risk of social dysfunction. Studies show that these patients can have poor self-esteem, loneliness, maladjustment, reduced emotional control, and aggressive or antisocial behavior.
As everyone knows, true creativity comes from simple formulas and the memorization of data. This chapter focuses on divergent thinking tests, which are still the most common way that creativity is measured. Guilford derived the core ideas behind divergent thinking as well as many popular measures. The people who score the Torrance Tests are specifically trained to distinguish responses that are truly original from those that are just bizarre. There are other tests that measure creativity, but most are either a variation on divergent thinking or use some type of raters. For example, the Evaluation of Potential Creativity (EPOC) has begun to be used in some studies and may be promising, but is still largely rooted in a mix of divergent thinking scoring and raters. Another test is the Finke Creative Invention Task, which is clever but also requires raters for scoring.
The Big Five, which this chapter discusses in more detail, are extraversion, neuroticism, agreeableness, conscientiousness, and openness to experience. Each of these five factors represents a continuum of behavior, traits, and inclinations. There are some popular personality measures that use different theories, such as Eysenck’s Personality Questionnaire, which looks at extraversion and neuroticism as well as psychoticism. The personality factor most associated with creativity is openness to experience. Indeed, one way that researchers study creativity is by giving creative personality tests. Being open to new experiences may also help creative people be more productive. King found that people who were creative and high on openness to experience were more likely to report creative accomplishments. DeYoung and S. B. Kaufman, of course, are not the only people to blend or split different factors of personality to present new models. Fürst, Ghisletta, and Lubart suggest three factors: plasticity, divergence, and convergence.
This chapter explores three ’classic’ studies of creativity and mental illness. The first is Jamison whose focus is on the connection between bipolar disorder and creativity. The second is Andreasen, who used structured interviews to analyze 30 creative writers, 30 matched controls, and first-degree relatives of each group. The writers had a higher rate of mental illness, with a particular tendency toward bipolar and other affective disorders. The third major work is Ludwig, who utilized the historiometric technique. All three studies have come under serious criticism. Many of the studies of Big-C creators are historiometric, akin to Ludwig’s work. Some such studies claim that eminent creators show higher rates of mental illness. A much more common approach is to look at everyday people and give them measures of creativity and mental health. Typically, researchers look at what are called subclinical disorders—in other words, they’re not clinically significant.
One school admissions area that already uses creativity is gifted admissions—which students are chosen to enter gifted classes, programs, or after-school activities. Both education and business play great lip service to creativity. Puccio and Cabra review the literature on creativity and organizations and do a nice job of highlighting how every couple of years, a new report from industry emphasizes the importance of creativity. It is important to note that there is a large inconsistency between gender differences on creativity tests and actual creative accomplishment. Although gender differences on creativity tests are minor or nonexistent, differences in real-world creative accomplishment are large and significant. This chapter shows how creativity can play a role in admissions and hiring. Hiring measures tend to have better validity, even the general mental ability (GMA) measures; even if minorities score lower, the accuracy of prediction is consistent by ethnicity.
Creative people are also often seen as being outsiders and eccentric. Sen and Sharma’s examination of creativity beliefs in India tested beliefs about the Four P’s and found that creativity was more likely to be described as a holistic essence of an individual, and less likely to be focused on the product or process. Romo and Alfonso studied Spanish painters and found that one of the implicit theories that the painters held about creativity involved the role of psychological disorders. Plucker and Dana found that past histories of alcohol, marijuana, and tobacco usage were not correlated with creative achievements; familial drug and alcohol use also was not significantly associated with creative accomplishments or creative personality attributes. Humphrey, McKay, Primi, and Kaufman did find that illegal drug use predicted self-reported creative behaviors even when openness to experience was controlled.