With the growing occurrence of college campus and public school shootings and improper diagnosis, treatment of behavioral health issues are imperative. Many cases result from an individual who was mentally unstable receiving access to weapons. If the mental health issue can be treated from the beginning, the individual will not reach this point, and school shootings can be reduced or eliminated. Identifying behavioral health issues at an early stage will enable parents and professionals to encourage proper management of feelings and impulses as well as pursue other courses of treatment.
Three disciplines within Social Science that will assist with researching this topic are as follows: sociology, geography, and economics (White, n.d.). Sociology examines the relationship between people as well as the individual. Studying the geographical location of children who are being treated for behavioral issues can show potential contributing factors to mental states such as drug use by parents, environmental factors, and access to developmental resources. By studying the economic background of children diagnosed with behavioral issues, steps can be taken to ensure that parents and children who cannot afford help have avenues to explore for treatment. The demographic of interest is children and young adults.
What is the most effective procedure for testing children for behavioral health issues so diagnosis and treatment may begin? Paul Frick and colleagues suggest identifying callous-unemotional traits, as there may be a connection between the recognition of said traits and behavioral health issues (Frick et al, 2014). The use of modular treatment in cognitive behavioral therapy is also worth exploring, as it shows drastic improvement over standard models of care (Weisz, Chorpita, Palinkas, 2012). This study focuses on anxiety and depression, two major contributors to instigators in school shootings. Educating parents and other authority figures in methods to dissolve episodes is also essential (Jorm, 2012). By learning to diagnose potential behavioral health issues early on, treatment can begin at a more influential age.
Frick, P. J., Ray, J. V., Thornton, L. C., & Kahn, R. E. (2014). Can callous-unemotional traits enhance the understanding, diagnosis, and treatment of serious conduct problems in children and adolescents? A comprehensive review. Psychological Bulletin, 140(1), 1-57. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0033076.
Jorm, A. F. (2012). Mental health literacy: Empowering the community to take action for better mental health. American Psychologist, 67(3), 231-243. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/a0025957.
Weisz JR, Chorpita BF, Palinkas LA, et al. (2012). Testing standard and modular designs for psychotherapy treating depression, anxiety, and conduct problems in youth: A randomized effectiveness trial. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 69(3):274–282. doi:10.1001/archgenpsychiatry.2011.147.
White, Ilene (n.d.). The social science disciplines. SlidePlayer. Retrieved from http://slideplayer.com/slide/5858738/.