Chapter 1 – Introduction
Defining and Identifying Abnormality
Criteria for abnormality is very based n how people behave and what people say
Some are more obvious for example, if a person doesn't acquire speech
Some instances are hard to judge what is normal and what is not
Behaviours judged as abnormal on atypical, harmful, inappropriate.
Standards for behaviour based on development, culture, gender, and situational
Atypical or Harmful Behaviours
Can reside within the person an interferes with adaptation not being able to fit in with life
Can involve the person reaction to situation, a more environmental condition
Age is important in judging behaviour because it gives a time line on what is considered
appropriate behaviour for a certain age (developmental norms) - describe typical rates of
growth in forms of different skills, emotion, physical, mental, cognition, social behaviour.
If there is a long duration of an emotion (anxiety) or too little of something, or if a child
goes from being very outgoing to very solitary (a quantitative difference).
Behaviour not seen at all in a normal growth period can point to (qualitative difference)
when a child is unresponsive to caregiver as an infant, which almost always happen, this
can mean they are autistic.
Culture and Ethnicity
What's normal in one culture could be different in others.
Collectivist and Individualistic cultures may be different in their cultural norms.
Some disorders are also culturally specific
It could be the way a culture is used to doing its norms can affect how some people
When looking at abnormality, must look at race and ethnicity and the customs, values,
and language with the origin of people in the specific area.
Gender norms can affect how people perceive someone as being abnormal or not
Situational norms, what’s expected of you in a certain setting or situation,
Ex. Running in a playground, but not in a library
Also, social interaction has norms, how you ask a person something, meeting someone for
the first time. Roles of Others
Children don't refer themselves to clinical help
The feelings of others in their environment are critical on whether or not they are treated
or are assumed to have some sort of abnormal behaviour
Referral can have to do more with others characteristics (parents, teachers, family, Dr.'s)
Can be disagreement on what parents, teachers, or others may believe is causing the
Labelling can disrupt the process of treatment or diagnosis.
This can be because each adult involved with a child is exposed to different behaviours
because of different settings or situations
Changing Views on Abnormality
Due to more knowledge and modifications in theories
Transition in cultural beliefs and values
How Common Are Psychological Problems?
Prevalence depends on the kind of disorder, the method used to identify problems, the
Because of all these variables, there is a lot of variation
Believed that changes in society over past decades has increased risk of disorders for
Many needy youth go unrecognized and do no receive adequate treatment
Many health services are not available in places where needed most
Ex. Poorer communities
How are Developmental Level and Disorder Related?
Sometimes disorders are correlated with chronological age due to the developmental
level and can make some disorders more likely than others
However, some disorders have a gradual onset with worsening symptoms over time
The time a disorder can occur can depend on extraneous circumstances
Ex. LD once a child hits school
Knowing age of onset can point to etiology, and can explain the severity or outcome of
How Are Gender an Disorder Related?
Male more frequently affected than females
Some gender differences are related to age
Males more prone to brain developmental problems early in life
Females more to emotional problems in adolescence
Developmental changes in externalizing problems (aggression, delinquency)
internalizing problems (anxiety, depression, withdrawal) are different in gender
Problems expresses differently in boys and girls Methodological Differences, True Differences
Bias in studying males more than females
Self-report differences, females more likely to self-report and go get help
Boys usually used in clinical samples because they are more disruptive,
Thus, experiments done and symptomologies pertain to males, which may not fall
similar to how females behave for the same disorder
Real differences come from biological an psychological influences
The sex-hormone and chromosomes and brain structure
Ex. X and Y chromosome are related to specifi