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Running head: ABNORMAL BEHAVIORS
Behavior Disorders in Children and Adolescents
According to a report from the U.S. Surgeon General, 1 in 10 children suffer from a mental disorder severe enough to impair development. The most commonly diagnosed psychological disorders in children age 6 to 17 are learning disabilities, 11.5%, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, 88%, (Kilpatrick, 2009). A telephone survey based on a national probability sample of American youth ages 12 to 17 found that 7% of the boys and 14% of the girls had suffered from major depression in the 6-months before the survey (Kilpatrick, 2009). The risk of a child having a developmental disorder is increased by many contributing factors such as environmental stressors, genetics, family factors, neglect, harsh discipline, or physical and/or sexual abuse (Grant, 2004). Children with parents who suffer from depression also stand at a higher risk for developing a psychological disorder because it leads to greater family stress.
The most common disorders in adolescents are Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD, ADD), Asperger Syndrome, and Autism.
Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder is one of the most common childhood disorders and can continue through adolescence and into adulthood. NIMH (2008) has stated, "the average age of onset is 7 years old. ADHD affects about 4.1% American adults age 18 years and older in a given year. The disorder affects 9.0% of American children age 13 to 18 years. Boys are four times at risk than girls" (Grant, 2004). Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is defined to be a behavior disorder characterized by excessive motor activity and inability to focus one's attention (Grant, 2004). The disorder is usually first diagnosed during elementary school, when problems with attention of hyperactivity-impulsivity make it difficult for the child to adjust to...