Book Reviews

Emotional Disorders: A Neuropsychological, Psychopharmacological, and Educational Perspective.

Edited by Steven G. Feifer, D.Ed. and Gurmal Rattan, Ph.D.
Published by School Neuropsychpress.

This collection of academic papers is designed to inform psychologists, teachers and "allied mental health providers" how children's brains function and how to better address problematic behaviour in schools.

Violence is on the increase among children and adolescents In U.S. schools. The growing numbers of children who lack empathy and compassion for others is examined in the chapter entitled "Frontal Lobe Dysfunction, Psychopathology, and Violence."

As in other chapters, the authors clarify the functions of various parts of the brain and how, for example, damage to the prefrontal cortex "can lead to devastating life effects including antisocial and criminal behaviour."

Despite the evidence of brain malfunctions it seems most of the cases of behavioral problems come from family and society, rather than from within the troublesome child.

Charts and diagrams clarify the densely written texts that could otherwise perplex the reader who lacks neurobiological training. Compact boxes throughout the book provide the reader with short notes that summarize the key points on a particular page. An index would have been helpful to trace subjects dealt with in more than one section.

Practical suggestions for helping children with, e.g., behavioral or emotional disorders such as ADHD follow anecdotes that bring the issues (such as drugging) alive.

The complex functioning of 100 billion (!) neurons in the human brain is explained in terms an educated adult can comprehend.

The book ends with an optimistic and detailed "Framework for Supporting Social, Emotional and Academic Wellness."

This collection of academic papers is designed to inform psychologists, teachers and "allied mental health providers" how children's brains function and how to better address problematic behaviour in schools.