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Chapter 1

Abnormal Psychology Textbook: Chapter 1 - Introduction

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Psychology 3310F/G
Peter Hoaken

Chapter 1Introduction Defining and Identifying Introductioncriteria for abnormality are based on how a person is acting or what they are sayingrarely include a marker for disorderAtypical and harmful behavior abaway from normalabnormalrefers to negative deviationsabnormality is normally something that is within an individual and interferes with adaptationdisorder is an individuals reaction to circumstancesDevelopmental standards Developmental normsdescribe the typical rates of grown and forms of physical skills language cognition emotion and social behaviors o Judgments about behavior rely on developmental normsBehavioural indications of disorders include o Developmental delay o Developmental regressiondeterioration o Extremely highlow frequency of behavior o Extremely highlow intensity of behavior o Behavioral difficulty persists over time o Behavior inappropriate to the situation o Abrupt changes in behavior o Several problem behaviors o Behavior qualitatively different from normalQuantitative and qualitative differencesCulture and Ethnicity Benedicteach culturesociety selects certain cultures that are of value and importance to it and socialize its members to act accordinglyTherefore some disorders are culturally specific o Anxiety is more expressed through bodily symptoms in Asian and Latino groupsAlmost half of mothers in the middle East and North African descent believe that if their child is retarded it is due to some higher powerEthnicity is common customs that are associated with national origin or a geographic area Other Standards Gender and Situation gender normssituational norms o what is expected in specific settings or social situationsThe Role of Others adult attitudes play a role in identifying problem behaviorChanging Views of Abnormality views on abnormality are not set in stoneabnormality is a judgment that a persons behavior emotion or thinking are atypical in some way How Common are Psychological Problems1520of children have cliniclevel disorders10 of youth have a serious mental health problem and another 10 have mild to moderate problemsmedical advances have increased the rate of life for infants born prematurely and they have increased the risk of behavioural problemsconduct and emotional problems have increased in the UK since 1981stress related to social factors and lifestyle changes might increase the rate of a psychological disordermany disorders that carry the heaviest burden related to adult death and disability in the developed areas of the world are related to mental health How are Developmental Level and Disorder RelatedKnowing age of onset of the disorder can point to the etiology of the disorder o Early occurrence suggests genetic o Later occurrence suggests additional developmental influenceAge of onset can also indicate severity of the disorder o Typical onset of drug abuse is adolescence o If it occurs earlier that indicates severe drug dependencyFigure 13 o Birth to 6 yearsLanguage disordersAutismRetts disorderAspergers disorder o 412 yearsADHD o 518 yearslearning disorders o 718 years conduct disorders o 1218 yearsSchizophreniaDrug abuseBulimiaanorexia How are Gender and Disorder Relatedmales are more frequently affected by disturbances then femalesgender differences also occur in developmental change for externalizing problems and internalizing problemsgender differences in how problems are expressedTable 12Gender prevalence for some disorders of youth o Prevalence higher for malesMental retardationReading disabilitiesLanguage disabilitiesAutismAspergersChildhood disintegrative disorderOppositional disorderRumination an eating disorderEncopresisEnuresisTourettes disorderDrug abuseConduct disorderADHD o Prevalence higher for femalesRetts disorderAnxieties and fearsDepressionEating disordersMethodological Issues True Differences Misleading reports may be due to biased studying of one gender or willingness of one gender to speak more then the other oneClinical samples are biased towards boys o When boys are most often seen in mental institutions they become the subject of more research and the disorders become described more in the way boys express the symptomsWhy might these gender differences exist
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