Treatment of Children’s Problems

  • Lizette Peterson
  • Michael C. Roberts
Part of the Applied Clinical Psychology book series (NSSB)


This book reviews the history of clinical psychology and describes the assessment and treatment of a variety of psychological disorders. The present chapter focuses on the history of children and their mental health treatment. This task is a particular challenge because the conceptualization of childhood itself has only evolved relatively recently (Senn, 1975). In many otherwise advanced civilizations, such as classical China and ancient Greece, there were no words to designate a person in a special developmental period prior to puberty. The word “child” signified only a kinship relationship, while terms like “boy” signaled a dependent male of any age (Aries, 1960/1962). In medieval Europe, children were largely regarded as inadequate, small, mentally slow adults. With the exception of sexual intercourse and military combat, they were treated like and expected to eat, work, and play like adults (Owens, 1987). Only within this century has the concept of childhood as a special, protected period of development come about. While psychological treatment, in general, is a fairly new phenomenon, such treatment of children is even more recent.


Family Therapy Child Psychiatry Apply Behavior Analysis Juvenile Offender Developmental Psychopathology 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Lizette Peterson
    • 1
  • Michael C. Roberts
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of MissouriColumbiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of PsychologyUniversity of AlabamaTuscaloosaUSA

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