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Six seminars will cover infancy, early and middle childhood, and adolescence. These lectures will focus on topics such as the developmental tasks of infancy, childhood and adolescence, the attachment relationship and implications for mental health, commonly presenting difficulties at different developmental stages, and approaches to engagement, assessment and intervention with young people and families at each stage. Six lectures will address topics of clinical relevance to older adults.

These include life transitions, normal development and cognitive change in later life, theroretical models of ageing, models for psychological intervention with older adults and how intervention might be modified in light of maturational and contextual variables, and psychological intervention in people with dementia and their families. Parents and healthcare experts are often on the lookout to ensure that kids are growing properly, receiving adequate nutrition, and achieving cognitive milestones appropriate for their age.

Middle Childhood: This period of development is marked by both physical maturation and increased importance of social influences as children make their way through elementary school. Kids begin to make their mark on the world as they form friendships, gain competency through schoolwork, and continue to build their unique sense of self.

View Across the Life Span of Counseling Psychology - Oxford Handbooks

Parents may seek the assistance of a developmental psychologist to help kids deal with potential problems that might arise at this age including social, emotional, and mental health issues. Adolescence: The teenage years are often the subject of considerable interest as children experience the psychological turmoil and transition that often accompanies this period of development. Psychologists such as Erik Erikson were especially interested in looking at how navigating this period leads to identity formation. At this age, kids often test limits and explore new identities as they explore the question of who they are and who they want to be.

Developmental psychologists can help support teens as they deal with some of the challenging issues unique to the adolescent period including puberty, emotional turmoil, and social pressure. Early Adulthood: This period of life is often marked by forming and maintaining relationships. Forming bonds, intimacy, close friendships, and starting a family are often critical milestones during early adulthood. Those who can build and sustain such relationships tend to experience connectedness and social support while those who struggle with such relationships may be left feeling alienated and lonely.

People facing such issues might seek the assistance of a developmental psychologist in order to build healthier relationships and combat emotional difficulties. Middle Adulthood: This stage of life tends to center on developing a sense of purpose and contributing to society. Erikson described this as the conflict between generativity and stagnation. Those who engage in the world, contribute things that will outlast them, and leave a mark on the next generation emerge with a sense of purpose. Activities such as careers, families, group memberships, and community involvement are all things that can contribute to this feeling of generativity.

Old Age: The senior years are often viewed as a period of poor health, yet many older adults are capable of remaining active and busy well into their 80s and 90s. Increased health concerns mark this period of development, and some individuals may experience mental declines related to dementia. Erikson also viewed the elder years as a time of reflection back on life. Those who are able to look back and see a life well lived emerge with a sense of wisdom and readiness to face the end of their lives, while those who look back with regret may be left with feelings of bitterness and despair.

Developmental psychologists may work with elderly patients to help them cope with issues related to the aging process. To determine if a developmental problem is present, a psychologist or other highly trained professional may administer either a developmental screening or evaluation.


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If a problem is found to be present, the patient may then be referred to a specialist such as a speech-language pathologist, physical therapist, or occupational therapist. Receiving a diagnosis of a developmental issue can often feel both confusing and frightening, particularly when it is your child who is affected. Once you or your loved one has received a diagnosis of a developmental issue, spend some time learning as much as you can about the diagnosis and available treatments. Prepare a list of questions and concerns you may have and discuss these issues with your doctor, developmental psychologist, and other healthcare professionals who may be part of the treatment team.

By taking an active role in the process, you will feel better informed and equipped to tackle the next steps in the treatment process. Have you ever wondered what your personality type means?

Verbal communication assessment for psychology and life-span

Sign up to get these answers, and more, delivered straight to your inbox. More in Theories. Symptoms typically include a strong desire to take the drug, difficulties in controlling its use, persisting in use despite harmful consequences, a higher priority given to drug use than to other activities and obligations, increased tolerance of drug, and sometimes a withdrawal state. Withdrawal can either be physical or psychological, with the former having physiological responses such as sweating and nausea and the latter experiencing symptoms like depression and anxiety.

According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse NIDA , both genetics and environment play a role in whether or not a person may become addicted to drugs or alcohol. However, the relationship between genetics and environment is complex and factors like poverty, exposure to violence, age at first drug use, and unhealthy peer relationships also play a role. In addition, the relationship between substance abuse and mental health is also present but complicated, meaning that some substance use has a high comorbidity with certain disorders such as PTSD, anxiety, and depression.

Drug and alcohol abuse can have harmful effects on the body across the lifespan.

A View Across the Life Span of Counseling Psychology

Effects on brain development and functioning can include:. For adolescents, drug and alcohol abuse can interrupt vital brain development. For those who are older, drug and alcohol abuse can exacerbate already existing health problems. Physiologically, chronic drug and alcohol abuse can also affect other organs, such as the liver, kidneys, lungs, and heart. One particularly vulnerable part of the brain during this time is the frontal cortex, which is responsible for planning, judgement, decision-making, and aspects of personality.

This critical brain region is one of the last areas to fully develop, and thus can be most at risk to the effects of early substance use, including the use of marijuana. Research has found consistent evidence of both structural brain abnormalities and altered neural activity in marijuana users. In adolescents, studies have suggested that both structural and functional brain changes emerge soon after adolescents start using the drug, and that such changes may still be evident after a month of abstaining from the drug.

Research has also found that regular, heavy marijuana users — those who reported smoking five of the last seven days, and more than 2, times in their lives — had damage to their brains' white matter, which has been correlated with higher impulsivity, particularly in people who began smoking before the age of In general, individuals who use marijuana more tend to have more significant brain differences. While there is still significant research that needs to be conducted on the impact of marijuana on the brain, current results tend to suggest that there is a greater risk starting to use marijuana young.

As more and more states legalize marijuana use, there are significant implications for adolescent use of marijuana and its impact on the developing brain. In Massachusetts currently, marijuana use is legal for medicinal and recreational purposes for adults 21 years and older.

Over the past several years, the potency of marijuana available in the United States has increased dramatically, and there are many new methods of marijuana use, such as edibles and the smoking of concentrated marijuana oils.

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As recreational marijuana grows into a new and prosperous market, marijuana products are marketed to young people even though marijuana use under the age of 21 remains illegal. However, it has not been found that states who have legalized marijuana use have increased adolescent access to marijuana. Recognizing the signs of drug abuse can be difficult but is important as family and friends can help the individual utilize treatment before chronic problems develop.

For adolescents, warning signs may be difficult to notice as some changes in behavior can be developmentally appropriate. Similarly, for the elderly, signs that may normally be alarming in younger individuals e. Nevertheless, it is important to be aware of abrupt behavior and physical changes including, but not limited to:. Evidence based preventative programs involving families, schools, and communities have proven effective in preventing drug abuse and addiction.

According to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Service Administration SAMHSA , individual-level strategies include learning life and social skills, addressing media influences, peer resistance skills, and programs that introduce drug free alternative behaviors. According to the Canadian Pediatric Society, friends and loved ones can engage in harm reduction by acknowledging that some alcohol and drug exposure is inevitable and if abstaining completely from drug or alcohol use is not feasible, helping someone make the best decisions to reduce its harm.

There are three general approaches:.

Addictive Behaviors across the Life Span

Below are some specific recommendations parents can utilize with their children or adolescents to address potential or ongoing substance abuse:. Substance abuse and addiction is treatable. However, treatment can be intensive and takes time. According to the NIDA, the most effective treatments are when the individual is motivated to start therapy with or without medication. It is important to emphasize that no one treatment works for everybody and that treatment must be tailored to the individual in order to maintain successful moderation or abstinence from substance use.

While much of the focus on the prevention and treatment of addiction focuses on substance abuse and dependence, there are other addictive patterns of behavior that can be of clinical concern and can impact one's overall functioning and quality of life. In general, a behavior can be considered addictive when one finds themselves engaging in an activity for longer periods of time or in ways that are not typical and find such a behavior difficult to stop.

Behaviors that become addictive may leave individuals feeling like they need to engage in such behaviors more often or for longer periods of time to get the same amount of enjoyment out of them as they used to.

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Individuals displaying addictive patterns of behavior work their lives around such behaviors rather than engage in such behaviors for fun. Addictive behaviors start to cause problems for the individual, such as impacting their job, personal relationships, school performance, or financial well-being.

Individuals displaying addictive patterns of behavior experience negative consequences from the behavior but still find it difficult to stop engaging in the behavior. Such individuals often try to cut down on or stop these addictive behaviors but find that they cannot. The Massachusetts Substance Abuse Information and Education Helpline is a Massachusetts resource providing free and confidential information and referral for alcohol and other drug abuse problems and related concerns. The Helpline is committed to linking consumers with comprehensive, accurate, and current information about treatment and prevention services throughout Massachusetts.

Individuals may call the Helpline Monday through Friday from am to pm and on Saturday and Sunday from am to pm to talk with a referral specialist. Language interpreters are always available. The Massachusetts Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Program is dedicated to reducing the health and economic burden of tobacco use by: preventing young people from starting to smoke, helping current smokers quit protecting children and adults from secondhand smoke, identifying and eliminating tobacco-related disparities.

enter The Addiction Recovery Management Service, offered by the Massachusetts General Physicians Organization MGPO , provides rapid access to information and support combined with outreach and care management for youth aged 15 - 25 and their families suffering from substance-related problems. ARMS supplements the traditional inpatient and outpatient continuum and bridges the gaps in disjointed systems of treatment with leading expertise and high quality care management. Needle Exchange is one of four state-sanctioned and state-funded syringe exchange programs in Massachusetts.

The program also operates a drop-in center where members can access risk reduction supplies such as crack kits, safer injection supplies, and condoms. Members can participate in periodic groups as well as receive individual risk reduction counseling, information and referrals to medical, substance use, and other social service providers.

Alateen and Al-Anon are step support programs that help families and friends of alcoholics recover from the effects of their loved one's addiction. Members meet regularly to learn a better way of life, to find happiness whether the alcoholic is still drinking or not. Alateen offers support to adolescents affected by someone else's alcoholism.

The only requirement of membership in Al-Anon and Alateen is that there be a problem of alcoholism in a relative or friend. Visit the website for a list of meetings in your area. Alcoholics Anonymous is step support program for recovering alcoholics to share their experience, strength, and hope with each other so that together they may achieve sobriety.

The only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking. There are no dues or fees for AA membership. Visit the AA website for a list of meetings in your area or www. CASPAR is a nonprofit organization founded in in response to the need for community-based services for those affected by substance use disorders.

Since then CASPAR has built a comprehensive array of outreach, shelter, stabilization, residential, aftercare, education, and prevention services to meet the needs of diverse populations through programs that are safe, accessible, and supportive.