Mental Retardation

Type of psychology: Developmental psychology

Fields of study: Childhood and adolescent disorders; organic disorders

Mental retardation occurs about three times per thousand births and usually indicates an intelligence quotient (IQ) of less than 70. Variations in severity may allow some individuals to be virtually independent and capable of retaining simple jobs, whereas more severely affected persons may require lifetime institutional care. The causes of mental retardation are numerous, with many having a clear-cut underlying genetic basis, others implicating environmental factors, and still others with no known cause.

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