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Psychology 2310A/B Study Guide - Final Guide: Dysthymia, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Masturbation

Course Code
Rod Martin
Study Guide

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Chapter 3 Textbook Notes – Classification and Diagnosis
-Diagnosis: determination or identification of the nature of a persons disease or condition,
or a statement of that finding
- Diagnosis made on basis of a diagnostic system
-Diagnostic system: system of rules for recognizing and grouping various types of
- Accurate diagnosis is impt
-Assessment: procedure through which info is gathered systematically in evaluation of a
condition - finds info that is basis for diagnosis
oInterviews with patient/family, medical/psychophysiological/psychological testing,
and completion of self-report or other report rating scales
- Diagnostic system provides number of criteria for disorder; if certain number of criteria is
present, diagnosis is made
The Perfect Diagnostic System
- Perfect system would classify disorders on basis of symptoms (behaviours), etiology
(history of development), prognosis (future development), and response to treatment
- Many people would need to be observed over a long period of time with many treatment
options and many other variables observed
- This “perfect” diagnostic system is not really possible
The History of Classification
- Classification is fundamental activity of humans; also vital to science
- Used in all aspects of science – classification of people and their difficulties has history of
complexity and controversy
- Milestone in modern development of comprehensive diagnostic scheme was when World
Health Org added mental health DOs to the international List of the Causes of Death
- In 1948, list expanded to be the International Statistical Classification of Diseases, Injuries
and Causes of Death (ICD)
- 1952 – APA published own classification system in response to perceived inadequacies of
ICD – called Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM)
- New volumes of this book keep coming out, becoming more accurate
- Field studies took place

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-Atheoretical: moved away from endorsing any one theory of abnormal psych, becoming
more pragmatic as they moved to more precise beh descriptions
-Polythetic: person could be diagnosed with a certain subset of symptoms without having
to meet all criteria
-Multiaxial: in addition to primary diagnosis, diagnosticians were required to provide
substantial patient info, evaluating and rating patients on 5 different axes or areas of
- Canada and US now use DSM-IV, European Union use 10th edition of ICD
oBoth texts often revised; each new addition increasingly similar
DSM-IV-TR: A Multiaxial Approach
- DSM-III onwards; system acknowledge that a persons life circumstances as a whole need
to be considered – diagnosticians need to evaluate person on broad array of info that might
be of concern
- 5 different axes/aspects of person’s condition
- Axis 1
oMost obvious disorders
oPsychological (clinical) disorders
oBizarre nature or difficulty they pose in everyday life
oEx. Substance-related, eating, anxiety, schizophrenia, dementia
oWhat the patient HAS
- Axis 2
oLess severe, long-term disturbances, that still interfere with life
oPersonality disorders
oCan function in jobs and relationships, with difficulty
oEx. Paranoid, antisocial, dependent, narcissistic, obsessive compulsive
oWhat the patient IS
- Axis 3
oGeneral medical conditions

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oRecognizes medical disorders may cause psychological disorders, or may affect
future development or treatment
Ex. Someone in car crash, becomes paralyzed, turns to depression –
paralysis may affect drugs used for depression
oEx. Diseases of any system/part of body
- Axis 4
oPsychosocial and environmental problems
oPatient’s life circumstances – stressful social circumstances might contribute to
symptom onset
oEx. Problems: economic, educational, occupational, social environment, primary
support group
- Axis 5
oGlobal Assessment of Functioning (GAF) Scale
oHow well a person is able to cope with circumstances related to problems
oIndicative of need for treatment and of persons coping mechanisms – can assist in
planning intervention
oScale of 0-100 on ability to function
Categories of Disorder in DSM-IV-TR
- All disorders on Axis 1 and 2 grouped into 15 categories
-Disorders usually first diagnosed in infancy, childhood or adolescence
oIntellectual, emotional, physical disorders start before maturity
oAD/HD: maladaptive levels of inattention, hyperactivity, impulsivity
oOppositional defiant disorder: recurrent pattern of negativistic, defiant,
disobedient and hostile beh towards authority
oConduct disorder: kids persistently violate societal norms, rules, basic rights of
oSeparation anxiety disorder: anxious over leaving parents
oMental retardation: below-avg intelligence with impairments in social adjustment
identified at early age
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