Author(s):Professor Margaret Thompson and Dr Paula Jenkins
Can very young children be perceived to have mental health problems? Under fives cry a lot, hardly sleep, are incredibly active, oppositional and have food fads. Surely we are not suggesting they all have a mental illness!
Campbell (1995) suggested that the definition of a disorder in young children should include several components:
Behaviour-extreme symptoms presenting in young children must therefore be viewed within a developmental context and medical conditions must be excluded or at least factored in. The social situation of the family is important as well as establishing the parents’ view of what is 'normal behaviour'.
In this module, the first of three, we look at the epidemiology and aetiology of behavioural problems in the under fives, developmental stages, assessment and attachment theory.
Find more content