From Huck Finn to Columbine:Understanding Disruptive Behaviors in Chldrn & Adolscnt (CAMS-UA 133)

What makes kids do bad things? Who is accountable for their acts? How can we prevent childhood violence? In this course we will explore these questions and seek to understand the spectrum of “bad” behavior from biological, psychological, and sociological perspectives. We will address broad topics ranging from the nature vs. nurture debate to biased media reporting to medicating disruptive behaviors. We will examine the increased exposure to media violence and its influence on children and adolescents; how the criminal justice system responds to delinquent behavior; and gender differences in disruptive behavior. We will study atrocities perpetrated by children and adolescents, the growing scientific literature detailing neurodevelopment as it relates to behavior, and historical descriptions of disruptive behavior and delinquency. Students will analyze case studies, debate controversial issues (e.g., the influence of violent gaming), and review online discussion boards in an effort to determine sensible efforts aimed at prevention and treatment.

Child/Adoles Mental Hlth Stds (Undergraduate)
4 credits – 15 Weeks