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The Ethics of the Cognitive Sciences: children's pathologies – how do we think about children’s mental health?


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Speaker(s): Dr Rachel Cooper, Professor Eileen Munro, Professor Emily Simonoff
Chair: Dr Eamon McCrory

Recorded on 19 November 2013 in Hong Kong Theatre, Clement House.

The classification, identification and treatment of mental illnesses in children raises particular challenges. For example, what are the appropriate criteria for diagnosing children with a mental disorder? How can we avoid the risk of stigmatisation that some children and their families experience? What are the risks of not identifying mental illness in children and how does it impact on their well-being, self-esteem, academic attainment and social development? Is it true that there is an increased tendency towards medicalizing certain behaviours that might once have been seen as normal (if challenging)? To what extent is it possible to predict which children will experience deficits in physical, psychological and social development due to problematic parenting, and what are the implications for public policy decision making?

Rachel Cooper is senior lecturer in philosophy at Lancaster University.

Eileen Munro is professor of social policy at LSE.

Emily Simonoff is professor of child and adolescent psychiatry at King’s College London.

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