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Handbooks Courses Units

MHT0001 - Understanding mental development - Child to adolescent

12 points, SCA Band 3, 0.250 EFTSL

Postgraduate Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences

Leader: Ms Jenny Carver, Ms A McDonald and Dr L Rodriguez


Clayton First semester 2008 (Off-campus)


Modules include psychological development, the sociology of childhood and adolescence, and principles of communication, intervention & referral.


Upon completion of this unit students will have a significant grounding in theoretical perspectives of child and adolescent development; a knowledge of developmental stages and transitions; an understanding of the impact of development on a child's sense of self, relationship with family and others and with educationalists.
Students will:

  1. Gain knowledge about the classification, aetiology, natural history and main treatment approaches to the most serious and prevalent mental disorders in school aged children;
  2. Develop skills in the detection of significant mental disorders;
  3. Have an overall conception of the relationship of infant, child and adolescent in the structure of family, school and community, their place in their predominant culture and their role and responsibilities in relationship to the community at large;
  4. Develop a clear notion of the prevailing conceptions of infancy, childhood and adolescence in the fields of anthropology, sociology and psychoanalysis;
  5. Gain an understanding of the infant, child and adolescent in the structure of the family with particular reference to the formative experiences that take place within that structure;
  6. Gain an understanding of critical examination of the position and needs of the child and adolescent as perceived by educational policies and institutions:
  7. Be able to analyse some typical problems of the child and the adolescent face, vis a vis the family, the school system and the community, including particular problems that arise in a multicultural society such as racial intolerance and racism.


Three written assignments approx. 2,000 words each (30% each)
Participation in threaded discussion groups (10%)

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