22. Intellectual Disability (Mental Retardation)

  1. William M. Klykylo4 and
  2. Jerald Kay5
  1. L. Lee Carlisle1,
  2. Bryan H. King2 and
  3. Arthur Maerlender3

Published Online: 30 MAR 2012

DOI: 10.1002/9781119962229.ch22

Clinical Child Psychiatry, Third Edition

Clinical Child Psychiatry, Third Edition

How to Cite

Carlisle, L. L., King, B. H. and Maerlender, A. (2012) Intellectual Disability (Mental Retardation), in Clinical Child Psychiatry, Third Edition (eds W. M. Klykylo and J. Kay), John Wiley & Sons, Ltd, Chichester, UK. doi: 10.1002/9781119962229.ch22

Editor Information

  1. 4

    Department of Psychiatry, Wright State University School of Medicine, 627 S. Edwin C Moses Blvd, P.O. Box 927, Dayton, OH 45401-0927, USA

  2. 5

    Department of Psychiatry, Wright State University School of Medicine, P.O. Box 927, Dayton, OH 45401-0927, USA

Author Information

  1. 1

    Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, University of Washington School of Medicine, Child Study and Treatment Center, 8805 Steilacoom Boulevard SW, W27-25, Lakewood, WA 98498-4771, USA

  2. 2

    University of Washington and Seattle Children's Hospital, 4800 Sand Point Way, NE, PO Box 5371/M1-1, Seattle, WA 98105, USA

  3. 3

    Dartmouth-Hitchcock Medical Center, One Medical Center Drive, Lebanon, NH 03757, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 30 MAR 2012
  2. Published Print: 30 MAR 2012

ISBN Information

Print ISBN: 9781119993346

Online ISBN: 9781119962229



  • intellectual disability;
  • intellectual development disorder;
  • mental retardation;
  • behavioral phenotype;
  • disruptive behavior disorder;
  • anxiety disorder;
  • obsessive-compulsive disorder;
  • mood disorder;
  • maladaptive;
  • self-injurious behaviour;
  • antipsychotic


Intellectual disability, or intellectual developmental disorder, describes a heterogeneous condition affecting a diverse population, and drawing boundaries around the disorder, and naming it, has always been a challenge. And yet, as advances in our understanding mount, we are closer to the development of new therapeutics, and also have a growing appreciation for the important role that psychiatry can play in the understanding and care of persons with intellectual disability. This chapter begins with a brief consideration of definitions, assessment, and epidemiology, followed by a summary of the main etiological aspects, and the usefulness of behavioral phenotypes in diagnosis. The chief mental disorders occurring with intellectual disability are surveyed, including attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), oppositional defiant disorder/conduct disorder, impulse control disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), mood disorders, and psychosis. It is important that the child psychiatrist's approach to psychiatric and especially behavioral problems in patients with intellectual disability is primarily based on empirical data, experience, and clinical consensus. We review treatment of these comorbid conditions using psychosocial therapeutic approaches, medication approaches, and holistic or ecological approaches.