Abnormal Child & Adolescent Psychology

Resources for Introduction to Abnormal Child & Adolescent Psychology (4th edition)

1. The Science and Practice of Abnormal Child Psychology

Learning Objectives
Identifying Behavior Problems in Children
Critically evaluate the concept of a mental disorder as it applies to children and adolescents.Critically evaluate the concept of a mental disorder as it applies to children and adolescents.
Explain how mental health professionals diagnose youths using DSM-5.Explain how mental health professionals diagnose youths using DSM-5.
The Prevalence of Childhood Disorders
Describe the prevalence of childhood disorders and how it varies as a function of children's age, gender, socioeconomic status, and ethnicity.
Integrating Science & Practice
Describe the characteristics of evidence-based practice and the types of professionals who help children and families in need.
Identify and apply four ethical principles that are important when helping children and families.

Note: The number before each objective shows its corresponding module in the text.


Mental Health for Kids

Approximately 20% of kids will experience a mental health problem. This excellent video, produced by the Canadian Mental Health Association, discusses early warning signs and treatment options for children and families.

Breaking Stigma

Stigma prevents many families from accessing mental health services for their children. In this excellent video, produced by Nationwide Children's Hospital, families discuss the importance of overcoming this barrier.

Mental Health Careers

It takes a team of mental health professionals, working together, to help children and families in need. This video, produced by BC Children's Hospital, shows some careers you might consider if you are interested in this path.

Learn More

Effective Child Therapy

The Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology has developed a wonderful website that describes evidence-based interventions for children with psychological disorders and their families. It's not only an excellent resource for students, it's a great tool for parents who want to make sure their child is receiving the best, evidence-based care possible.

Prevalence of Mental Health Problems in Children

The textbook summarizes recent data on the prevalence of mental health problems among youths in the United States. If you'd like to learn more about a specific disorder, explore prevalence rates as a function of age, gender, or ethnicity, or examine one-year incidence rates, you can get up-to-date information from the NIMH website. Everything is presented in a user-friendly format.


DSM-5 is the manual that most mental health professionals in the United States use to diagnose individuals with mental health problems. It is published by the American Medical Association and adopts a medical approach to classification. The textbook outlines the strengths and weaknesses of the DSM-5 approach. You can learn more about DSM-5 by visiting their FAQ page here.

Careers in Child Mental Health

Are you interested in a career helping children with behavioral, developmental, or social-emotional problems? The Child Mind Institute allows you to explore career options in child and adolescent mental health. Their site also provides links to professional organizations so that you can learn more about careers that interest you.

APA Ethics Code

The American Psychological Association's Ethical Principles and Code of Conduct provides general principles and specific standards (i.e., rules) that psychologists follow in their professional activities. All students should be familiar with the general ethical principles. Sections 9 and 10 address ethical issues in clinical practice.

Professional Organizations

American Psychological Association (APA)

The American Psychological Association (APA) is the largest professional association for psychologists. Psychology graduate and undergraduate students can become student affiliates of the organization. The APA is designed for professionals interested in all aspects of psychology: psychological research, clinical practice, consultation, and public policy. This link provides the latest information about the APA’s activities regarding children and adolescents.

APA Division 12: Society of Clinical Psychology

The APA is divided into divisions, which reflect sub-disciplines within the broad field of psychology. Division 12 is dedicated to research and practice related to clinical psychology. The “treatments” tab on this site will direct you to evidence-based treatments for various disorders.

APA Division 16: School Psychology

Division 16 is dedicated to the research and practice of school psychology, the application of psychological science in schools. School psychologists work in educational settings, evaluating and treating children with a wide range of academic, behavioral, emotional, social problems. They also serve as consultants to school personnel and act as liaisons between schools and families.

APA Division 53: Society of Clinical Child and Adolescent Psychology

Division 53 is dedicated to the advancement of clinical child and adolescent psychology. Locate the section of this website that is labeled “student resources.” It contains information about the field of clinical child and adolescent psychology as well as the education and training experiences needed to become a professional child psychologist.

Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies

The Association for Behavioral and Cognitive Therapies (ABCT) is an interdisciplinary organization committed to the advancement of a scientific approach to the understanding and treating psychological disorders. It is one of the leading organizations for the empirically based treatment of psychological disorders. On their website, locate the link “For the Public” and the subsection entitled Guidelines for Choosing a Behavior Therapist.

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

This is a good starting page for individuals interested in child and adolescent psychiatry. Students interested in becoming a child psychiatrist might consult the link for “Medical Students and Residents” to learn more information. There are also wonderful links for potential consumers of child and adolescent psychiatric services.

Society for Research in Child Development (SRCD)

SRCD is a multidisciplinary professional organization that seeks to promote research in the field of human development, to foster the exchange of information among scientists and other professionals, and to encourage applications of research findings. SRCD publishes Child Development, an outstanding journal on issues of developmental psychology and human development. On the SRCD webpage, try to locate the section entitled, “Ethical standards for research with children.”

Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology (SSCP)

SSCP is a professional organization which seeks the integration of the scientist and the practitioner in training, research, and applied activities. It has affiliations with both the American Psychological Association (Division 12) and the Association for Psychological Science (APS). Try to find the wonderful “SSCP Students” section.

National Alliance on Mental Illness

NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness, is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness.