Psychology 810:

Developmental Psychopathology

Course Description: This graduate-level course is required as part of the APPIC-accredited clinical psychology (child-track) training program at UNC-CH. Students who are not part of this program may register only with instructor permission. The course provides an overview of developmental processes as well as of the major disorders of childhood and adolescence, including issues of phenomenology, epidemiology, and etiology. Companion courses consider issues of assessment, prevention and treatment which are not a focus of this course. Using the developmental psychopathology framework, we consider the intersection of psychosocial and biological factors that co-create risk for disorder onset and escalation. Pertinent issues related to research methods, ethical conduct, and cultural context are all considered and integrated into this perspective. 

Course Structure and Learning Objectives: The course includes rigorous readings and digital media resources to provide an overview of key issues and disorders as well as greater depth in a smaller range of topics; structured class discussions, presentations and small group projects; an in-class exam; and a final course review paper. By the end of the course, you should be able to:

  • Identify developmental tasks and milestones during childhood and adolescence
  • Describe, apply, and critique core principles in developmental psychopathology
  • Distinguish, compare, and contrast ways to conceptualize childhood and adolescent psychopathology as well as specific disorders
  • Articulate factors that complicate the study of trends in developmental psychopathology and apply those factors in understanding the epidemiology of major childhood disorders
  • Describe shared and unique developmental etiological models across a broad range of childhood disorders
  • Identify central issues, tensions, and methods in recent developmental psychopathology research
  • Apply the developmental psychopathology framework to inform future research studies and clinical work

I am currently revising this course structure to be taught remotely in the Fall 2020. If after the first month of campus re-opening, we will evaluate whether to continue remote or move to a hybrid option. No students will have to be on campus to take this course in the fall.