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PSY8071 Child and Adolescent Psychopathology

Semester 1, 2013 On-campus Toowoomba
Units : 1
Faculty or Section : Faculty of Sciences
School or Department : Psychology
Version produced : 21 July 2014

Contents on this page


Examiner: Paul Bramston
Moderator: Grace Pretty


Pre-requisite: PSY8045


This course aims to integrate theories of adolescent development into evidence-based practice. Students will work closely with the Queensland Health Child & Youth Mental Health Service as they observe clinicians model a wide range of diagnostic interview, assessment and therapy skills. Students will be required to practice these skills until they can demonstrate competency.


It is assumed that students will come into this course with a sound knowledge of normal child development and theories of human development. The course will expand upon that basic knowledge in an exploration of characteristics, definitions, causes, contexts and outcomes of psychopathology in children. The course will range from early developmental problems through middle and late childhood to early adolescence.


On completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. present a professional development workshop on an aspect of child psychopathology or psychotherapy to CYMHS clinicians;
  2. demonstrate an ability to self-reflect on the role of inner-child within the field of child psychotherapy;
  3. demonstrate an understanding of the principal theoretical models underlying psychopathologies that occur in infancy and childhood.


Description Weighting(%)
1. Behavioural disorders: diagnosis and treatment of children with ADHD; Conduct & oppositional disorders; substance abuse disorder. 25.00
2. Emotional and social disorders: Diagnosis and treatment of childhood mood disorders; anxiety; PTSD; social withdrawal; psychopharmacology. 25.00
3. Developmental disorders: Recognition and management of autistic disorder; trauma reactions; intellectual disability. 20.00
4. Interview, assessment, and case management practice 30.00

Text and materials required to be purchased or accessed

ALL textbooks and materials available to be purchased can be sourced from USQ's Online Bookshop (unless otherwise stated). (

Please contact us for alternative purchase options from USQ Bookshop. (

  • Mash, EJ & Barkley, RA (eds) 2003, Child psychopathology, 2nd edn, Guilford Press, New York; London.

Reference materials

Reference materials are materials that, if accessed by students, may improve their knowledge and understanding of the material in the course and enrich their learning experience.
  • Gauvain, M & Cole, M (eds) 2000, Readings on the development of children, 3rd edn, WH Freeman, New York.
  • Mitchell, P & Riggs, KJ (eds) 2000, Children's reasoning and the mind, Psychology Press, Hove.
  • Ollendick, TH & Hersen, M (eds) 1997, Handbook of child psychopathology, Plenum Press, New York.
  • Rich, JM & DeVitis, JL (eds) 1994, Theories of moral development, 2nd edn, Charles C. Thomas, Springfield, IL.
  • Schroeder, CS & Gordon, BN 2002, Assessment and treatment of childhood problems: a clinician's guide, 2nd edn, The Guilford Press, New York.
  • Wicks-Nelson, R & Israel, AC 2003, Behavior disorders of childhood, 5th edn, Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, NJ.

Student workload requirements

Activity Hours
Assessments 60.00
Directed Study 52.00
Private Study 50.00
Test 2.00

Assessment details

Description Marks out of Wtg (%) Due Date Notes
90 MINUTE IN-CLASS TEST 40 40 06 Jun 2013 (see note 1)
ESSAY 30 40 06 Jun 2013 (see note 2)
WORKSHOP PRESENTATION 30 20 06 Jun 2013 (see note 3)

  1. A 90 minute in-class test will be held in the third workshop on the aetiology and psychological models of childhood disorder(s). Students will require a good understanding of the psychological theories to answer the questions. Check with course examiner for updated workshop dates.
  2. Students will complete a 1500 word self-reflective essay on finding their inner child when engaging in child psychotherapy.
  3. Students will work in small groups to present a professional development workshop to the CYMHS staff at the hospital on child psychotherapy theories or interventions.

Important assessment information

  1. Attendance requirements:
    It is the student's responsibility to participate actively in all scheduled workshops and Web-based activities and to study all course materials, so as to be informed of all course academic and administrative activities and policies, and to maximise his/her chance of meeting the objectives of the course.

  2. Requirements for students to complete each assessment item satisfactorily:
    To satisfactorily complete an assessment item a student must achieve at least 50% of the marks or a grade of at least C-. Students do not have to satisfactorily complete each assessment item to be awarded a passing grade in this course. Refer to Statement 4 below for the requirements to receive a passing grade in this course.

  3. Penalties for late submission of required work:
    If students submit assignments after the due date without (prior) approval of the examiner then a penalty of 5% of the total marks gained by the student for the assignment may apply for each working day late up to ten working days at which time a mark of zero may be recorded. No assignments will be accepted after model answers have been posted.

  4. Requirements for student to be awarded a passing grade in the course:
    To be assured of receiving a passing grade a student must achieve at least 50% of the total weighted marks available for the course.

  5. Method used to combine assessment results to attain final grade:
    The final grade will be determined by the addition of the marks obtained on each assignment and the in-class test, weighted as indicated in the Assessment Details.

  6. Examination information:
    Not applicable.

  7. Examination period when Deferred/Supplementary examinations will be held:
    Not applicable.

  8. University Student Policies:
    Students should read the USQ policies: Definitions, Assessment and Student Academic Misconduct to avoid actions which might contravene University policies and practices. These policies can be found at

Assessment notes

  1. Students must retain a copy of each item submitted for assessment. This must be produced within two days if required by the Examiner.

  2. The Faculty will normally only accept assessments that have been written, typed or printed on paper-based media.

  3. APA style is the referencing system required in this course. Students should use APA style in their assignments to format details of the information sources they have cited in their work. The APA style to be used is defined by the USQ Library's referencing guide.