PSY-355: Childhood and Adolescent Psychology

PSY-355: Childhood and Adolescent Psychology
Critical Issues in Childhood Table

Directions: Each member of the group must choose one critical issue associated with childhood and complete the fields listed in the table below for the chosen issue.
Issue Description
(50 – 100 words) Impact on the child (psychological, cognitive, and/or physical)
(50 – 100 words) Risk factors
(50 – 100 words) Interventions and Support Available
(50 – 100 words)
Example: Childhood obesity Childhood obesity is a serious medical condition that occurs when a child is above the normal weight for their height. Obesity is a major issue for preschool-aged children. Between 2003-2006 12 % of 2- to 5-year-olds had a body mass index above the 95th percentile (Ogden, Carroll, & Flegal, 2008).

There are many physical impacts associated with childhood obesity. They include early onset of diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and cancer. Psychological impacts of childhood obesity may include low self-esteem and depression.  Risk factors include: Family history of obesity; or Psychological problems that may cause the child to eat to deal with emotional issues. Socioeconomic factors since it is more affordable to buy less healthy food options An increase in sedentary hours children spend in front of the television or computer. Decrease in active play at school and home. Decrease in family mealtimes.

Some interventions that may assist in reducing childhood obesity are to improve diet and exercise habits of the entire family. Don’t just focus on the child. It is also important to incorporate healthy options into school meals and increase opportunities for active play for children at school and at home. The best treatment is prevention in early childhood. When children are overweight early, and have overweight parents they tend to grow into obese adults.

Ogden, C. L., Carroll, M.D., & Flegal, K.M. (2008). High body mass index for age among U.S. children and adolescents, 2003-2006. Journal of the American Medical Association, 299, 2401-2405.

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