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Toward a New Diagnostic System for Child Psychopathology: Moving Beyond the DSM


This important volume brings together leading child psychiatry researchers to critically review the current diagnostic system and work toward new, more clinically useful ways of understanding childhood problems. The authors examine how existing diagnostic categories as embodied in the DSM-IV fail to adequately take into account the interplay among maladaptive behavior and children's environmental contexts, relationships, and developmental needs. Drawing on the latest findings from neurobiological and evolutionary...
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This important volume brings together leading child psychiatry researchers to critically review the current diagnostic system and work toward new, more clinically useful ways of understanding childhood problems. The authors examine how existing diagnostic categories as embodied in the DSM-IV fail to adequately take into account the interplay among maladaptive behavior and children's environmental contexts, relationships, and developmental needs. Drawing on the latest findings from neurobiological and evolutionary research, the book offers fresh perspectives on the nature, causes, assessment, and treatment of a range of prevalent disorders. The concluding chapter offers specific, cogent suggestions for improving the forthcoming DSM-V.
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Editorial Reviews

Doody's Review Service
Reviewer: Tammy Yuen, MD (Rush University Medical Center)
Description: This book provides a new approach to diagnose mental disorders.
Purpose: It identifies the most important issues relevant to mental disorders and finds alternative approaches to fit the actual phenomena. The book meets these worthwhile objectives.
Audience: Child and adolescent psychiatrists, general psychiatrists, and psychologists and social workers who see children and adolescents are the intended audience. All three authors are credible and knowledgeable authorities.
Features: This book helps clinicians to conceptualize mental disorders in a different way using the evolutionary and adaptational models. A helpful feature is that it shows how to apply the models to specific disorders. The book contains recommendations for DSM V in the last chapter. References after each chapter are helpful for those who wish further study.
Assessment: This well written and useful book enables a clinician to think beyond DSM IV in terms of diagnoses. It also encourages care providers to view treatments in a new approach and manner.
From the Publisher

"If DSM-V is to be a real advance over DSM-IV (as everyone hopes), what is needed is more than tinkering with the diagnostic criteria. What is needed are some new ideas about the conceptual basis of psychiatric diagnosis. This book does exactly that by showing how evolutionary psychology and developmental knowledge are essential for understanding child psychopathology. The book would be an excellent choice as a text for introductory and advanced courses in abnormal psychology and child psychiatry. The developers of DSM-V would be well advised to study the last chapter, which offers suggestions for the new manual."--Robert L. Spitzer, MD, New York State Psychiatric Institute

"This book grapples with the fundamental question 'What is a disorder?' The everyday concerns of the clinician and researcher in differentiating disorder from non-disorder are linked with the latest theoretical understanding of human mental processes and their functions and dysfunctions. The promise of the DSM has always been to use symptom syndromes as an initial step from which to bootstrap to deeper theories of the nature and etiology of disorders. This timely and provocative volume initiates the process of rethinking DSM’s syndromal categories from an evolutionary perspective. The reviews are succinct and lucid. This book will be invaluable for introducing clinical and research students to the evolutionary approach to mental disorder in a clinician-friendly way. It should prove useful and stimulating not only to scholars and clinicians, but also to students in graduate seminars and advanced undergraduate survey courses in psychiatry, psychology, and social work."--Jerome C. Wakefield, DSW, PhD, School of Social Work, New York University

"It is increasingly apparent that psychiatric diagnosis needs a significant overhaul to serve us better as we reap the rewards of the 'decade of the brain.' In this book, distinguished child psychiatry clinicians and researchers weigh in on the lively debates that have resulted from tensions between the taxonomy and clinical realities, attempting to move forward the descriptive models we have used for over four decades. The reader will find a pointed and critical examination of current diagnostic practices in light of neuroscientific advances and the latest evolutionary thinking."--Hans Steiner, MD, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Stanford University School of Medicine


"This is a thought-provoking volume that will be of interest to practitioners and researchers in the field of child and adolescent mental health. It should spark some interesting discussions in the field. The book could be used in an upper-level seminar for doctoral students or with interns and post docs."--PsycCRITIQUES
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781593852511
  • Publisher: Guilford Publications, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/23/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 194
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Peter S. Jensen, MD, is Director of the Center for the Advancement of Children's Mental Health, Ruane Professor of Child Psychiatry at Columbia University, and Research Psychiatrist with the New York State Office of Mental Health. Previously, he was Associate Director of Child and Adolescent Research at the National Institute of Mental Health. He serves on many editorial and scientific advisory boards and has published over 200 scientific articles and book chapters and 13 books.

Penny Knapp, MD, is Medical Director at the State of California Department of Mental Health. She recently retired from the University of California, Davis, where she served as Chief of the Division of Child, Adolescent, and Family Psychiatry. A member or fellow of such national organizations as the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and the American Academy of Pediatrics, she has several dozen refereed publications and is a journal or book reviewer for several pediatric and child psychiatry journals.

David A. Mrazek, MD, is Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Psychology at Mayo Clinic Rochester and Professor of Psychiatry and Pediatrics at Mayo Clinic College of Medicine. He currently serves as Director of the S. C. Johnson Genomics of Addictions Program and Director of the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Previously, he served as Chair of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at George Washington University, and as the Leon Yochelson Professor of Psychiatry. He has authored over 200 publications and is actively involved in psychiatric pharmacogenomic research.

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Table of Contents

1. Introduction, Peter S. Jensen and David A. Mrazek
2. Research and Clinical Perspectives in Defining and Assessing Mental Disorders in Children and Adolescents, Peter S. Jensen and David A. Mrazek
3. Understanding Early Development and Temperament from the Vantage Point of Evolutionary Theory, Penny Knapp
4. A Developmental Evolutionary Perspective on Two Anxiety Disorders, Daniel S. Pine and Theodore Shapiro
5. An Evolutionary Perspective on Childhood Depression, Cynthia R. Pfeffer
6. Application of Evolutionary Models to ADHD, Peter S. Jensen, David A. Mrazek, Penny Knapp, Laurence Steinberg, Cynthia R. Pfeffer, John Schowalter, and Theodore Shapiro
7. Conduct Disorder and Evolutionary Biology, Markus Kruesi and John Schowalter
8. Evolutionary Biology of Stress Disorders, Penny Knapp
9. Autism and Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Peter E. Tanguay
10. Recommendations for DSM-V, Penny Knapp and Peter S. Jensen
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