Traditionally, child clinical psychology (abnormal development) and the study of normal development were separate. However, effort is being made to integrate them. Abnormal development is informative about normal processes. The serious disorders of childhood include autism, attention-deficit disorder with hyperactivity, and depression. Viewed another way, abnormal children are either overcontrolled (obsessive-compulsive) or undercontrolled (impulsive, aggressive). Developmental psychopathologists, however, are interested not just in disordered development in childhood, but in abnormal individuals over their lifetime. Such studies can shed light on the effectiveness of treatments and on the way in which disorders such as hyperactivity may be displayed differently at different ages.
How does your political and societal understanding of the world shape your goals and motivations? At the MAGIC Lab, Dr. Kristin Laurin explores the complex relationship between motivations and beliefs, connecting the dots between goal pursuits to areas like religious belief systems, political ideologies, moral codes and more.
As in other stages, bio-psycho-social forces are at work. No matter how one has been raised, one's personal ideologies are now chosen for oneself. Often, this leads to conflict with adults over religious and political orientations. Another area where teenagers are deciding for themselves is their career choice, and often parents want to have a decisive say in that role. If society is too insistent, the teenager will acquiesce to external wishes, effectively forcing him or her to ‘foreclose' on experimentation and, therefore, true self-discovery. Once someone settles on a worldview and vocation, will he or she be able to integrate this aspect of self-definition into a diverse society? According to Erikson, when an adolescent has balanced both perspectives of "What have I got?" and "What am I going to do with it?" he or she has established their identity: