Developmental Psychopathology

Developmental Psychopathology


Developmental psychopathology is an integrative and broadly conceptualized approach to understanding both typical and typical human developmental outcomes. Marriage is the foundation of both familial and social structures. It creates a sense of unity, security and belonging to the family member. However, the ease of getting a divorce has increased the rate of family separation.  While there are some positive aspects of divorce, the negative impacts outweigh the benefits. While the right to divorce cannot be debated, making it hard to get a divorce may help reverse the trend. Children are in most cases on the receiving end of family breakups. There is the risk that the divorcing couples may be in pursuit of their happiness without putting into account the welfare of the children. Studies point out that family breakups lead to changes in behaviors and academic competency levels. Divorce exposes children to mental conditions such as post-traumatic stress disorder thus affecting cognitive growth and development in the childhood, adolescence, and adulthood stages(Block, Block, &Gjerde, 1986). Many cases of disruptive behaviors and poor performances among children are linked to disconnections in family structures. The failure to reverse the trend continues to subject children to a low quality of life.

Post-traumatic stress disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PSTD) is a condition that affects a person after being exposed to events that are too pressing to the mind. PSTD can affect anyone across the board without considering the age. One of the causes of this disorder is through the death of a person who was close to you. The imagination of how that person was while they were alive leaves pictures in the mind that causes one to suffer emotionally. This worsens to an individual more especially when they got to witness the fateful circumstances that led to the death of that person. Some of the results are that the individuals with that disorder experience traumatizing dreams at night and it is advisable that people should keep such patients closer to them to avoid them harming themselves. Some severe cases have led to complications where the patients have ended up suffering from brain tumors.

In this paper, we will look at the post-traumatic stress disorder that children of different ages get to experience when there is divorce in a depth manner. There are several diagnostic practices that researchers have developed to the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder. The consequences of the disorder can be fatal because the disorder causes some mental torture. One of the consequences where research by (Block, Block, &Gjerde, 1986) proved to be high was that of people committing suicide and taking away they live. In some instances, individuals suffering from this condition results in taking the lives of those who surround them too including children.

DP perspective in examining the specific psychopathology in PSTD

Many health issues are connected to stress. The high cases of post-traumatic stress disorder are attributable to family disruptions and divorce.  Being exposed to separation increases the risk of long-term depression and other mental conditions. Other than children, adolescents, and adults are also at an increased risk factor of contracting the health conditions. In societies with high rates of divorce, there has been an equal increase in the number of psychiatric and depression cases. It implies that divorce leads to a low quality of life among the concerned persons. Rather than advocating for divorce, there is the need to create programs that enable couples to better deal with their differences and conflicts. One of the ways is the consideration of a DP perspective preferably over the medical model (or the DSM-V approach). Getting to know and understand a disorder better assists in the formulation of a cure as opposed to getting medical services.

The listed information indicates that there are dangers with high levels of divorces. Children are often on the receiving end and increase the danger of contracting mental conditions like depression. Such children have disruptive behaviors due to disruptions in the cognitive development processes. Delusion and stress lower the productivity level of the affected persons. Children from divorced families lack emotional support from their parents(Block, Block, &Gjerde, 1986). There is also the danger of weakening both familial and social bonds. Contrary to supporting divorce, there is the option of focusing on ways that the differences can be resolved. Counseling and conducting marriage seminars may come in handy in lowering the level of divorces. In short, there are more dangers to the easy granting of divorcees as compared to the benefits.

Factors and ways through which one can develop a post-traumatic stress disorder

Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) is linked to different factors. Wild et al., (2016) explained some of the contributing elements such as cross-cultural factors or socially constructed distress. Most of the studies tend to view PTSD as a cross-culturally intuited process. Other psychopathology studies have focused on indicators reflective of an underlying problem. Therefore, the research aimed at addressing the gap by illustrating perspective via analysis of the PTSD symptoms. The study used the survivors of the Wenchuan earthquake in China as participants. The study utilized computational methods that adequately explain the existing causal structure and process of mental disorders. I believe that the use of computational methods provides a high level of accuracy in the cases study. The questionnaires were distributed to eligible participants and results collected for analysis. The research also made an appropriate choice of incorporating interviews to help reinforce the findings. The results showed that the PTSD symptoms were interrelated. Symptoms noted with higher scores included high vigilance, concentration, impairments, sleep disturbances and flashbacks of the traumatic events. The survey conducted reviewed different alternatives for conceptualizing mental disorders through causal systems of interactive signs.

The article has contributed to the understanding of the PTSD. Initially, one would understand it from one perspective, after reading the article; this is changed and gets to discover the various instances that the condition occurs. The research is vital in interpreting different causative factors that contribute to PTSD and developing new ways of addressing the problem Wild et al., (2016). Furthermore, the article has provided different methods and approaches to conducting research. The study has also contributed to my basic research skills involved in psychological science. Through the survey conducted through the review, one gets to learn how to identify different factors that contribute to traumatic events. Most of the people are often faced with a problem of flashbacks of such situations and faced with the fear of the occurrence of similar events. Therefore, the knowledge will enable me to adopt the right approaches when presented with a similar task.

A second article byRamos-Olazagasti, et al., (2017), looked at the social factors that are associated with the cases of post-traumatic stress disorder. He noted that one of the most significant social challenges that people face today is divorce. The divorce issues and its increasing rates in our societies today have threatened the lives of many to a greater extent. Divorces affect social and personal life very profoundly. It leads to stress and lowers the success of the victims who then opt to change their lives. Most children are affected by divorce incidences of their children. In school, their performances are usually low because of the separation. According to Ramos-Olazagasti et al., (2017), these children exhibit a change in their behavior, and consequently, the separation interferes with their psychological developments. The divorced couples are also regarded as immoral, and the position among people has been considered unethical. The impact has led to the stigmatization of many who have undergone divorce experiences. Similarly, divorce renders the lives of many children vulnerable significant risks. These problems include depression, stress and lack of attention from both parents.

According to the article by Afifi, et al., (2009), he discussed the community factors that may lead to the incidences of post-traumatic disorders as a result of divorce. The community and societal values advocate against the acts of divorce among some married couples. This plays a significant role in the stopping of such activities and also reduces the instances of PTSD. However, even with these limitations being present the instances of divorce are being witnessed now and then. The culprits of these instances are always the children who are innocent in the whole scenario. The children experience some gaps in them with consideration with the circumstances through which both their parents separated. Some of the separations are violent, and this is not a good scene for the children to watch. Later those incidents of being lonely due to the lack of one parent and the thoughts of the violent scenes that they watched leave them in a trauma. After separation, the community sometimes takes charge of the children to assist them with the recovery process after the separation of their parents.

How post-traumatic stress disorder manifests in childhood, adolescence, and adulthood

Essau, LeBlanc, &Ollendick, (2017), summarized characteristics of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) through the Oregon Adolescent Project. It considered four developmental stages including the childhood, adolescence, emerging adulthood and adulthood. The study focused on the incidence, gender duration comorbidity, and suicide attempts encountered during the scenes. The methods employed for the study included diagnostic interviews and data collection, which was achieved through questionnaires and interviews. The results further showed that the suicide attempt rates were higher during adolescence compared to adulthood. Essau, LeBlanc, &Ollendick, (2017), found that such incidences are minimal at childhood compared to adulthood.I believe the finding help in understanding psychological factors that contribute to adolescent’s indulgence in life risk activities.The PTSD first incidence was found to be lower at childhood compared to adulthood. However, the commodity was found to be comparable across different stages.

Essau, LeBlanc, &Ollendick, (2017), has provided reliable information on post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Apart from learning the incidence rates in different groups, one can also discover how social factors contribute to life risk behaviors right from childhood to adulthood. The approach that Rhode et al., involved in analyzing the manifestation of the condition across different developmental groups was strategic. Therefore, with it, one can gain a better understanding of how incidence risks vary as a person grows. The kind of study analysis presented through the study is relevant and essential to the understanding of psychological science. Moreover, it relates to different mental issues evident across the learning institutions. What the articles also facilitate the evaluation of the psychological problems determines overall population behaviors.

A second article by Cook, et al., (2017), discussed how children, adolescents, and adults react to the exposure to trauma. The study noted that the children are the most affected by acts of separation from the parents which brings depression to them. This is because small children have a tight attachment to their parents and separating is the last thing a person would like to do. These cases of getting depression after divorce were average in the adolescents since some of them were so much closer to their parents while for other they are strong enough not to be affected that much by the separation. Lastly on the adult’s cases of post-traumatic stress disorder are not common since some of them don’t even live with their parents and even after their divorce they would still visit them from their different places.

Thirdly, Ballard et al., (2015), found out that one of the main reason of adolescents indulging into drugs was because of the separation of their parents. He acknowledged that it is hard for a single parent to raise children on their own and some of them without the knowledge of the parent end up indulging into drugs. On other instances adult due to the stress of the divorce scenarios also gets into drug and substance abuse to keep off from reminding themselves of the incidents. These cases, however, are very minimal in young children where they might suffer post-traumatic stress disorder but may never indulge themselves in the drug and substance abuse. In summary, the article says that cases of drug abuse in divorces is high on adolescents and adults but are minimal in young children.


Divorce cases have bred the poverty status of our society. This is particular to children and women who live in a poverty-stricken state as they cannot afford basic needs due to separations. This result to them having post-traumatic stress disorder which can make them commit suicide or even indulge in the use of drugs. Amidst limited resources, several disruptions befell many children who cannot comprehend such changes in their social care. To counter this, it is advisable for the adapting of a Psychopathology perspective. Poverty creates turmoil in their lives as care is reduced and eventually many resorts to street life due to lack of support. Lack of proper care and support also heightens the disorganization degree between children and their parents.




Afifi, T. O., Boman, J., Fleisher, W., &Sareen, J. (2009).The relationship between child abuse,      parental divorce, and lifetime mental disorders and suicidality in a nationally representative adult sample. Child abuse & neglect33(3), 139-147.

Ballard, E. D., Van Eck, K., Musci, R. J., Hart, S. R., Storr, C. L., Breslau, N., & Wilcox, H. C.   (2015). Latent classes of childhood trauma exposure predict the development of behavioral health outcomes in adolescence and young adulthood. Psychological        medicine45(15), 3305-3316.

Block, J. H., Block, J., &Gjerde, P. F. (1986). The personality of children before divorce: A          prospective study. Child development, 827-840.

Cook, A., Spinazzola, J., Ford, J., Lanktree, C., Blaustein, M., Cloitre, M., …&Mallah, K.             (2017). Complex trauma in children and adolescents. Psychiatric Annals35(5), 390-398.

Essau, C. A., LeBlanc, S. S., &Ollendick, T. H. (Eds.).(2017). Emotion regulation and      psychopathology in children and adolescents.Oxford University Press.

Ramos-Olazagasti, M. A., Canino, G. J., Bird, H. R., & Duarte, C. S. (2017). 3.5 Teen      Motherhood in Context: Examining the Relationship Between Teen Motherhood and            Children’s Antisocial Behaviors in Puerto Rican Youth Living in Different Social        Contexts. Journal of the American Academy of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry56(10),      S203.

Wild, J., Smith, K. V., Thompson, E., Béar, F., Lommen, M. J. J., & Ehlers, A. (2016).A   prospective study of pre-trauma risk factors for post-traumatic stress disorder and      depression. Psychological medicine46(12), 2571-2582.