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Lecture 3

Lecture 3 Part 1 For those of you who missed class, these notes have all the lecture slides and my own notes taken integrated together in one neat word document. Great for last minute studying!

Course Code
Ayesha Khan

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PSY240 Chapter 3: Causal Factors & Viewpoints in Abnormal Psychology
Risk Factors
Complexity in human behavior
Hard to figure out the exact cause of a disorder
Causes Vs. Risk Factors
Correlated with abnormal outcome
variable is connected w/ an abnormal outcome.
What are the factors that lead to a certain abnormal behavior?
Cultural, upbringing, biological, heredity, etc.
What are the variables that come w/ these mental disorders?
How can we refine our educated guesses? risk factors.
Causes & Risk Factors
The causal pattern of abnormal behaviour.
What bring about the abnormal behaviour?
Necessary cause
Cause must exist for a disorder to occur.
Ex. PTSD doesn’t occur unless the person has an anxiety provoking
Sufficient cause
Something that guarantees the occurence of the disorder
Ex. If someone has lots of hopelessness, it’s a sufficient cause for
depression to be brought out in the individual.
Contributory cause
Increases the probability of a particular mental disorder to occur.
ex. Parental rejection in early life will increase the probability that the
person will have relationship issues later in life.
Causal factors
Distal: distance, far away
Something in the past influences current behaviour.
Ex. If a person loses their parent early in childhood increases the
probability that they are going to engaged in antisocial behaviour
later on in adulthood.
Proximal: proximate, nearby.
Something that happens really close by
Ex. Getting a really bad grade in a course, causes stress and signs of
A reinforcing contributory cause
Maintains maladaptive behaviour that is already occurring
A condition that maintains w/e dysfunctional behaviour is occuring.
Reinforcing effect, discourages recovery.
Ex. Death of a loved one can’t be mourned forever, need to move on in life.
Feedback & Circularity in Abnormal Behaviour
Our concepts of causal relationships must take into account the following:
PSY240 Chapter 3: Causal Factors & Viewpoints in Abnormal Psychology
Feedback: not simply cause/effect, there is constant communication b/w
the various components (interaction). How are they modulating each
other’s behaviour?
Patterns of interaction
Isolating a cause and figuring out what the isolated cause leads to.
Ex. When the concentration of alcohol reaches a certain level we can
conclude by the behaviour’s cause.
Behavourial Sciences: linear behaviour hardly ever occurs. Involves feedback.
Diathesis-Stress Models
Relatively distal necessary or contributory cause that is not sufficient to
cause the disorder
A predisposition, something you have within yourself. What YOU are. My
biology/heredity/experiences, etc.
The response of an individual to demands perceived as taxing
Something that is out in the env’t.
Additive model: diathesis and stress can be added together.
High diathesis may require small amounts of stress
Those who have a predisposition to get stressed out easily only need
a small amount of stress.
Low diathesis may require large amounts of stress
Need large amounts of stress for some type of mental disorder to
Diathesis + stress
Those w/ no diathesis (stress free) can STILL develop a disorder.
Interactive model
Some amount of diathesis must be present before stress will have any
You need some sort of diathesis in order to develop a mental disorder.
Those with no diathesis will never develop a disorder regardless of how
much stress they face.
*Protective Factors **TEST**
*Family environment
Attachment between child and parent
Positive sibling relationships
Exposure to stress
Inoculation effect (going through a stressful experience can help you with
future stressful events)
Personal qualities/attributes
High acheivement in school = good protective factor.
What shields your from developing abnormal behaviour? What are the factors that
help us cope in difficult situations.
How a person responds to a stressful situation affects the onset of mental
PSY240 Chapter 3: Causal Factors & Viewpoints in Abnormal Psychology
Different types of protective factors for different ages
Sell-fulfilling prophecy: The expectation might make the scenario come true
Is Conflict Between Teenagers and Parents Inevitable?
Adolescent-Parent Friction
Parents have low level of knowledge there is a
misbehavior talking back in school and at home.
This the feedback loop, its not just low level of
knowledge leads to adolescent misbehaviour, but
somtimes it’s the adolescent misbehavior
effecting low level of knowledge.
Parents under economic
strain tend be less involved
with their child.
This leads to adolescent
misbehavior, excessive family
economic pressure, there
might father/mother
Marital conflict leads to poor
parenting leading to
adolescent difficulties.
Y axis (delinquency: stealing, talking back)
X axis maternal control (warm loving mother
One type of Impulsivity: Think a lot about the
consequences for particular action before you
engage in it See the consequences of the
Maternal control brings down the maternal
An individual with low impulsivity are doing
low monitoring. This is evident for the fact that
there is lots of complexity in human behavior.
Issues are defined differently
Parents: view issues as “right” or “wrong”
Matter of custom/convention
Adolescents: view as personal choice