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Mental Disorders in Childhood

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The purpose of this writing assignment is to have you conduct a bit of research on mental disorders in childhood with a popular form of media's portrayal of such illnesses.

Instructions: First, select a movie or TV show in which you believe one of the main CHILD-AGED characters (between the ages of infancy to 18) has some form of mental illness. This is not difficult to do because there are many, many movies and TV shows that fit this requirement. The disorder may or may not be formally diagnosed or stated in the movie or TV show; however, you are going to be the clinician. It is also possible that the movie or TV show may formally offer a diagnosis with which you disagree, which is fine, as long as you back up your own diagnosis with supporting evidence from the movie or TV show and from your textbook and/or the Internet. Alternatively, the movie or TV show may offer a formal diagnosis with which you completely agree; however, you must still find evidence that supports the diagnosis and state why you agree.

If you really have difficulty finding a movie or TV show, contact me for some suggestions, but try finding something on your own first. If you aren't sure if the movie or TV show is appropriate for this assignment, please ask before you write! The movie or TV show does not have to specifically be about mental illness; however, you are going to diagnose a main CHILD-AGED or TEEN-AGED character with a mental disorder no matter what the movie or TV show is really about. The movie or TV show may be from any genre that you choose, such as a drama, action, comedy, thriller, foreign film, documentary, etc. I don't mind if you watch a movie or TV show that you've seen before. Perhaps this time around, you'll view it from a different perspective.

Second, answer the following questions, however, do NOT answer the questions in the form of "Question A," "Question B," "Question C," instead, your answers should flow smoothly together in essay form, using complete sentences and paragraphs.

A. What movie or TV show did you watch? What is the child character's name?

B. Now you're going to conduct some online research in order to be a clinician! Pick out three specific examples of the child character's behavior from the movie or TV show; then, using a credible resource (you may use your textbook, the DSM-IV, other books, websites that end in .org, .gov, and .edu are generally all credible sites-you may also use journal articles as long as you provide the URL for the article). Do NOT use Wikipedia! You will find information that explains how each of the child's behaviors are symptomatic of any one, specific mental disorder. Work back and forth from the child character's behavior to the information that you find online, describing how each behavior fits the characteristics of a specific mental disorder. In other words,



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