Mental Health Problems in Childhood

1956 Words8 Pages
Introduction Recent research shows that mental health problems can manifest in early childhood. As many as one in ten Australian children under five exhibit symptoms of social, emotional, and mental disorders including temper tantrums, difficulty adapting to new surroundings, problems relating to peers, and hyperactivity (Edwards & Martin, 2012). Although psychological diagnoses like clinical anxiety or depression are not typically made on populations under five, researchers do identify early childhood behaviors as risk factors for developing mental health disorders later in life. Thus, being withdrawn or inhibited has been identified as "one of the best identified risk factors for later anxiety disorders," (Rapee, Kennedy, Ingram, Edwards & Sweeney, 2005, p. 488). Early childhood behaviors can reveal to parents and counselors the warning signs of childhood and adolescent psychiatric problems such as Depressive Disorder, Conduct Disorder and Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (Sawyer, Arney, Baghurst, et al., 2008). It is important to identify the early childhood warnings and risk factors because research shows that early intervention programs can prevent psychiatric disorders from emerging. Risk Factors At-risk populations should be especially targeted for intervention programs, in order to improve psychological health outcomes. Some populations seem more susceptible to mental health disorders than others, with children in foster care and abused children at
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