Psychopathological conditions in children and adolescents

Abigail B. Sivan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Scopus citations


Imagine the following scenario: a parent calls a neuropsychologist asking for an appointment because her latency-age child, a son, has been talking about not wanting to go to school. When queried, the parent reports that the child has never really liked school and over the last year has become more vocal about how bad a setting school is. When asked about other difficulties the child has, the parent answers that her son has difficulties with concentration, poor sleep, and states that he often appears restless and “on-edge”. A referral such as this is routine for and the “bread and butter” of the practices of most child and adolescent neuropsychologists. Typically, the neuropsychologist next plans for an assessment that will include an examination of learning difficulties and attention and, for good measure, she might add a behavior-rating scale. Her considerations are “primarily neuropsychological”, as the neuropsychologist probably hypothesizes that the school refusal behavior and somatic complaints are “secondary responses” to the child's learning and attentional concerns. One might ask the question, however, is there anything wrong with this approach? After all, learning disabilities and attentional problems are common childhood conditions. According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) [1], 7.8% of school-aged children are reported by their parents to have an attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) diagnosis. The LDA (Learning Disabilities Association) [2] reports that 4-6% of all students in the public schools are classified as having specific learning disabilities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationPrinciples and Practice of Lifespan Developmental Neuropsychology
PublisherCambridge University Press
Number of pages6
ISBN (Electronic)9780511674815
ISBN (Print)9780521896221
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)


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