School of Arts and Sciences

Professor in National Publications Psychology Today and Mad in America

Thursday, January 28, 2016

Pictured is Sharna Olfman, Ph.D., professor of psychology.Professor of Psychology Sharna Olfman, Ph.D., was recently featured in the national publications Psychology Today and Mad in America.

Psychology Today interviewed Olfman about child mental health controversies as part of its series on the future of mental health.

“Children are bearing the brunt of our illegitimate ‘mental disorder’ paradigm. When you turn the ordinary experiences of childhood into ‘symptoms of mental disorders’ and then announce (and demand) that these ‘disorders’ must be ‘treated with psychiatric medication,’ you have arrived at our current horrible and unconscionable place,” explained Olfman in the interview with Psychology Today.

Additionally, a blog article by Olfman titled “The Genetics of Schizophrenia: A Left Brain Theory about a Right Brain Deficit in a Left Brain World” is highlighted on Mad in America’s homepage.

In this article, Olfman discusses the epigenetic origins of schizophrenia. Epigenetics is the study of cellular and physiological phenotypic trait variations that suggest external or environmental factors can alter gene expression.

According to Olfman, an example of an epigenetic process directly related to children’s mental health is that exposure to high levels of stress during fetal and infant development can epigenetically alter regions of the brain that help us cope with anxiety and impulse control.

Olfman has written and lectured widely on the subjects of children's mental health and parenting. As editor/author of the Childhood in America series for Praeger Publishers, her books include Childhood Lost and Drugging Our Children.

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Point Park University offers a Bachelor of Arts in psychology (with concentrations options in clinical, child, community and forensic psychology) and a Master of Arts in clinical-community psychology

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