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Etiology

  • By: Patricia A. Lowe
  • In: Encyclopedia of School Psychology
  • Edited by: Steven W. Lee
  • Subject:School/Educational Psychology (general), School Psychology, Educational Psychology

Etiology refers to the presumed cause of an individual's difficulties. Typically with children and adolescents, the range of potential single or multiple causes to explain the difficulties these individuals encounter is often extensive (Kamphaus & Frick, 2002). For example, a host of etiologies have been suggested to explain the occurrence of an attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) in children and adolescents, including neurological factors (e.g., prenatal and perinatal complications; abnormalities in brain structure, function, or chemistry; exposure to environmental toxins; and infections), genetic factors, and environmental factors (e.g., certain parenting characteristics and parenting styles, chaotic home environment, and poverty). The etiologies of some difficulties or disorders may be solely biological, psychological, social, or a combination of the three. Knowledge of the etiology is relevant to ...

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