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Chapter 3

Abnormal Psychology Chapter 3.docx

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PSYC 3390
Mary Manson

Chapter 3 10/11/2012 10:10:00 AM Causes and Risk Factors for Abnormal Behaviour - Etiology is the causal pattern of abnormal behavior - A necessary cause is a condition that must exist for a disorder to occur - A sufficient cause of a disorder is a condition that guarantees the occurrence of a disorder - Contributory causes increase the probability of the development of a disorder but is neither necessary nor sufficient for the disorder to occur - Some causal factors occur early in life and may not show their effects until later one—distal causal factors - And other causal factors operate shortly before the occurrence of symptoms of a disorder and are considered proximal causal factors - A rienforcing contributory cause is a condition that tends to maintain maladaptive behavior that is already occurring - A predisposition or vulnerability toward developing a disorder is called a diathesis—diathesis stress models of abnormal behavior theorize that disorders are believed to develop as a result of some kind of stressor operating on a person who has a diathesis or vulnerability for that disorder - In the additive model, individuals who have a high level of diathesis only need a small amount of stress to trigger their disorder and in the interactive model, some amounts of diathesis must be present before stress will have an effect, so someone with no diathesis will never develop the disorder - Protective factors are influences that modify a persons response to environmental stressors, making it less likely that the person will experience the adverse consequences of the stressors which can be individual personality traits or family environment, etc - Protective factors lead to resilience (overcoming the odds) which is the ability to adapt successfully to even very difficult circumstances—this term has been used to describe phenomena like: good outcomes despite high risk status, sustained competence under threat and recovery from trauma The Biological Viewpoint and Biological Causal Factors - Neurotransmitter and hormonal balances in the brain are relevant to abnormal behavior—the belief in neurotransmitter imbalances in the brain can result in abnormal behavior is a basic tenet in the biological perspective - These imbalances could be due to: excessive production and release of neurotransmitter substance into the synapses, dysfunctions in the normal processes of neurotransmitter deactivation or problems with the receptors in the postsynaptic neuron due to sensitivies - The neurostransmitters that are studied that most in psychopathology are norepinephrine (noradrenaline), dopamine, serotonin and GABA - The first three are monoamines because each are from a single amino acid - Noradrenaline plays an important role in the emergency reactions our bodies show when we are exposed to an acutely stressful or dangerous situation - Dopamine has been implicated in schizophrenia and addictive disorders - Serotonin has been found to have effects on the way we think and process info from our environment as well as on behaviours and moods - GABA is implicated in reducing anxiety as well as other emotional states that involve high levels of arousal - Hormones are chemical messengers secreted by a set of endocrine glands in our bodies—our central nervous system is linked to the endocrine system (neuroendocrine system) by the effects of the hypothalamus on the pituitary gland - In the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal-cortial axis, activation involves messages in the form of corticotropin-releasing hormone travelling from the hypothalamus to the pituitary which releases adrenocorticotrophic hormone which stimulates the cortical part of the adrenal gland to produce epinephrine and the stress hormone cortisol which in turn provides negative feedback to the hypothalamus and pituitary to decrease their release of the two aforementioned hormones - Genotypes (genetic endowment) may have a passive effect, evocative effect or effective effect on phenotypes - Three methods are used in behavior genetics—the family history method (pedigree), the twin method and the adoption method— linkage studies are association studies are most recent - The family method requires that an investigator observe samples of relatives of each index case to see whether the incidence increases in proportion to the ddegree of hereditary relationship - The twin method—one would expect the concordance rate to be 100% among twins if a disorder was completely heritable - The adoption method involves seeing if there are higher rates of the disorder in the biological relatives than the adoptive relatives - Linkage analysis studies capitalize on several currently known locations on chromosomes of genes for other inherited physical characteristics or biological processes - Association studies start with a large group of individuals both with and without the given disorder - Temperament refers to a childs reactivity and characteristic way of self regulation—at around 2 to 3 months of age, 5 dimensions of temperament develop such as fearfulness, irritability, frustration, positive affect, activity level and attentional persistence—these are related to the dimensions of adult personality: neuroticism or negative emotionality, extroversion or positive emotionality, constraint (conscientiousness and agreeableness) - The developmental systems approach acknowledged not only that genetic activity influences neural activity, which influences behavior which influences the environment but also that these influences are bidirectional The Psychosocial Viewpoints - Freud theorized that a persons behavior results from the interaction of three key components of the personality or psyche—the id, ego and superego - The id is the source of instinctual drives and is the first structure to appear in infancy - These drives are inherited and considered to be life instincts (constructive drives of a sexual nature making up the libido, the basic emotional ad psychic energy of life) and death instincts (destructive drives that tend toward aggression, destruction and eventual death) - Freuds use of sexual was broad in referring to anything pleasureable, from eating to painting - The id operates on the pleasure principle, engaging in completely selfish and pleasure oriented behavior, concerned with only immediate gratification of instinctual needs without reference to reality or moral considerations - the id can generate mental images and wishfulfilling fantasies (primary process thinking) but cannot undertake realistic actions needed to meet instinctual demands - the ego mediates between the demands of the id and the realities of the external world - the egos adaptive measures are referred to as secondary process thinking and the ego operates on the reality principle - the superego is the outgrowth of internalizing the taboos and moral values of society concerning what is right and wrong—the conscience or the executive branch of the personality - intrapsychic conflicts involve the id, ego and superego - ego results to irrational protective measures called ego-defence mechanisms—displacement, fixation, projection, reaction formation, rationalization, reaction formation, regression, repression and sublimation - the five psychsexual stages of development are: - the oral stage 0-2 - anal stage 2-3 - phallic stage 3-6 - latency stage 6-12 - genital stage—after puberty - Oedipus complex—each boy longs for his mother sexually and views his father as a hated rival and then views that his father will punish his lust and gives the child castration anxiety - The electra complex is the female version and that females display penis envy - According to more contemporary views, psychopathology develops when the ego does not function adequately to control or delay impulse gratification or does not make aqeuate use of defense mechanisms when faced with internal conflicts—this became known as ego psychology - Object relations theory focuses on individual interactions with real and imagined other people and
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