Abnormal Child & Adolescent Psychology

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

13. Depression, Suicide, & Self-Injury

Learning Objectives

Disruptive Mood Dysregulation Disorder

Identify the features of disruptive mood dysregulation disorder (DMDD), and differentiate DMDD from

similar conditions affecting children's mood and actions.

Describe the potential causes of DMDD and evidence-based treatments to help children with this condition.


Major Depressive Disorder & Dysthymia

Describe the features of major depressive disorder and persistent depressive disorder, and how children might manifest these conditions differently than adults.

Analyze the biological, psychological, and social-cultural causes of depression in children and adolescents.

Evaluate the effectiveness and safety of medication, psychotherapy, and combined treatment for youths with


Suicide & Nonsuicidal Self-Injury

Differentiate suicide and non-suicidal self-injury and explain how the prevalence of these behaviors varies as a function of age, gender, and social-cultural background.

Identify some of the main causes of self-injury and evidence-based strategies to prevent and/or reduce self-injury among children and adolescents.

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


Psychosocial Treatment

Dr. Anne Marie Albano (Columbia University) discusses evidence-based psychosocial treatment options for youths with depression.

Medication for Depression

Dr. Gabrielle Carlson (Stony Brook University) describes the efficacy and safety of medication for children and adolescents with depression.

Assessing Suicide Risk

Dr. Cheryl King (University of Michigan) describes how professionals assess suicide risk in children and adolescents.

Treatment for DMDD

This fantastic video features Dr. Ellen Leibenluft describing new treatments for children with chronic irritability and temper outbursts. Watch it to see the treatments described in the textbook in action.

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Depression Rating Scales

Helping Give Away Psychological Science (HGAPS) is a student-based organization that is dedicated to providing the best information about psychological science to the public. The HGAPS Assessment Center provides rating scales to assess depression in children, adolescents, and adults. You can complete the scales online and learn how clinicians use them to help individuals in need.

Effective Child Therapy: Depression

The Society of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology (APA Division 53) summarizes the latest research on depression in children and adolescents and its evidence-based treatment. Their site provides detailed descriptions and videos of the most efficacious treatments available. It's the best place to go to learn more about mood disorders in kids.

Effective Child Therapy: Suicidal Ideation & Self-Injury

The Society of Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology also describes evidence-based treatments for youths who experience suicidal ideation or engage in self-injury. These treatments include dialectical behavior therapy, interpersonal therapy, and cognitive-behavioral therapy which are also described in the text..

American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry: Medication Guide

The AACAP website contains an excellent guide, written for parents, that discusses medication used to treat depression in children and adolescents. The guide provides up-to-date information about medication options and safety.

Coping With Depression - Adolescent Treatment Manual

You can read the CWD-A treatment manual as well as other cognitive-behavioral treatment manuals at his site, maintained by Dr. Gregory Clarke. Please note that these manuals are meant to be used by mental health professionals only and are not meant to be self-help manuals.

Families for Depression Awareness

 Families for Depression Awareness is a national nonprofit organization helping families recognize and cope with depressive disorders to get people well and prevent suicides. This section of their website provides information specific to depression in children and adolescents. You may also want to read their “stories and interviews.”

NIMH: Treatment for Adolescents with Depression Study

The National Institute of Mental Health provides a review of the TADS study and recommendations for the treatment of depressive disorders in adolescents.

PBS: Information for Children and Families on Depression

PBS Kids has produced a great webpage for children about depression and other emotional problems. Be sure to look at the videos which deal with topics such as the death of a loved one, coping with parental divorce, and the transition to middle school.