Childhood Disorders

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Childhood disorders such as learning and conduct disorders, autism and depression, emotional problems, and many other conditions are likely to be caused by multiple factors that closely interplay with each other. Though the multi-causal approach (i.e. agreement that several factors combine to result in one or other type of disorder) seems to prevail in modern research, there are still several major perspectives that view one or other group of factors as dominant in aetiology of childhood disorders.


All popular perspectives (e.g. those focusing on brain structure and functioning, early childhood experiences, cognitive development, peer influences, sleeping arrangements, interaction with environment, etc) fall in one of these groups, though each deals with a specific aspects of either 'nature' or 'nurture'.
The balance between the two stances is different for each disorder and inevitably changes over time. Thus, the recent research of children with ADHD disorder finally rebutted the previously popular theory of the 'minimal brain damage' (Swanson et. al., 1998). Instead, the advances in genetic engineering and technology allowed more accurate and comprehensive research of genes allegedly responsible for ADHD and led to identification of two genes: a dopamine-receptor (DRD) gene on chromosome 11 and the dopamine-transporter gene (DAT1) on chromosome 5 (US Public Health Service, 2000). ...
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