6. Abnormal psychology

This chapter looks at the field of abnormal psychology.  This is done through the lenses of the biological, cognitive and sociocultural approaches.

Students may study any one of the following categories of disorders: anxiety disorders, depressive disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders, trauma and stress-related disorders or eating disorders.  These classifications are based on the DSM-V.  This chapter focuses on Major Depressive Disorder, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder and Anorexia nervosa.  Supplementary materials will be available in the "teaching notes" for this chapter to address the other categories of disorders.

Each chapter is divided into smaller sections with quizzes to test for mastery of key vocabulary and "checking for understanding" questions with sample answers to check for broader conceptual understanding.

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Chapter 6.1 Diagnosis

A key component of abnormal psychology is diagnosing mental illness. Diagnosis is a complex process. The key topics of study are:

  • Approaches to research in abnormal psychology
  • Concepts of normality
  • Classification systems
  • Ethical considerations in diagnosis
  • Factors that influence diagnosis
  • Validity and reliability of diagnosis
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Chapter 6.2 Etiologies of disorders

This chapter looks at the origins of psychological disorders. The key topics of study are:

  • The symptomology of Major Depressive Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Anorexia Nervosa
  • Biological, cognitive and sociocultural etiologies of Major Depressive Disorder, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, and Anorexia Nervosa
  • Prevalence rates of disorders

Chapter 6.3 Treatment of disorders

This final chapter in abnormal psychology looks at therapy at assesses its effectiveness.  The key topics of study are

  • Biological and psychological approaches to treatment
  • The role of culture in treatment
  • Assessment of the effectiveness of treatments
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