Chaptor 1.doc

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Abnormal Psychology Chapter 1 pg. 2-27
Family Aggregation- whether a disorder runs in families.
What do we mean by abnormal behaviour? -no universal definition.
-therefore we adopt a prototype kind of model of abnormality and assess the degree to which a given person
resembles it.
Certain Elements of Abnormality
1) Suffering- (Depression, anxiety disorders). However this is not sufficient or necessary for us to consider
someone as abnormal.
2) Maladaptiveness
3) Deviancy- if something is statistically rare and undesirable than we are more likely to view as abnormal.
4) Violation of the Standards of Society- depends on magnitude of the violation.
5) Social Discomfort
6) Irrationality and Unpredictability
Why do we need to classify mental disorders?
-provides us with a nomenclature (naming system) and enables us to structure information in a more helpful
What are the disadvantages of Classification?
-loss of information.
-can also become stigma (negative feeling) with receiving a psychiatric diagnosis, can involve stereotyping.
-stigma can be perpetuated by the problem of labelling (the person is not the diagnosis).
->Symptom- a single indicator of a problem; can involve effect, behaviour or cognition.
->Syndrome- a group or cluster of symptoms that all occur together.
The DSM-IV Definition of Mental Disorder
-Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
1) A clinically significant behaviour or psychological syndrome or pattern.
2) Associated with distress or disability.
3) Not simply a predictable and culturally sanctioned response to a particular event.
4) Considered to reflect behavioural, psychological, or biological dysfunction in the individual.
Wakefield’s Definition of a Mental Disorder
A mental disorder is a mental condition that: causes significant distress or disability, is not merely an expectable
response to a particular event, and is a manifestation of a mental dysfunction.
Culture Specific Disorders
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