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Lecture 2

SOC363 – Week 2 Reading – The Twain Meet.docx

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University of Toronto St. George
David Young

SOC363 – Week 2 Reading – The Twain Meet - Journal of Health and Social Behavior o Favored a dimensional interpretation of mental health variation - Current movement in psychology o Disorder is not a category buy a continuum - DSM-IV says disorder id not completely discrete entity with absolute boundaries - Horwitz argues that distress is not a disorder o Distress is presumed from outset to be natural and expectable, while a disorder is excessive and abnormal o Distress is resolved when the stressor is removed or as individuals adapt to situations o Cannot define disorder with presumed causes o Stressors like marital disruptions ate likely to lead to elevated distress but not disorder o Death of a loved one is a special stressor because of its excessively overwhelming impact - Fact: must consider the whole history of research on distress as the source of a problem - History reveals a string of unchallenged and misleading claims about the distinction between distress and disorder The definitional problem: - Distress initially used as a screening instrument o Eg. WWII to reduce the likelihood of putting venerable soldiers into combat o Deflects attention from focus on its content and what it measures o As a screening instrument it is measure something else - D
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