Chapter 12 Study Guide.doc

Chapter 12 Study Guide.doc - Chapter 12 Psychological...

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Chapter 12: Psychological Disorders Chapter Overview What’s It Like to Be You? When Lynda Crane’s 18-year-old son was diagnosed with schizophrenia, people began to only see him as a schizophrenic, and not as a person. Along with Tracy McDonough, Lynda founded the Schizophrenia Oral History Project to collect the stories of individuals suffering from schizophrenia. They posed the question “What’s it like to be you?” Many individuals suffering from schizophrenia said that they had never been asked this question. This chapter is a reminder that individuals who suffer from all mental disorders are still individuals that are not so very different from everyone else. 1. Defining and Explaining Abnormal Behavior Abnormal behavior is a behavior that is deviant, maladaptive, or personally distressful over a relatively long period of time. Only one of these criteria needs to be present for a behavior to be labeled “abnormal,” but typically two or all three are present. A. Three Criteria of Abnormal Behavior Abnormal behavior is deviant . Abnormal behavior is certainly atypical or statistically unusual. Abnormal behavior is maladaptive . Maladaptive behavior interferes with a one’s ability to function effectively in the world. Abnormal behavior is personally distressful over a long period of time. The person engaging in the behavior finds it troubling. B. Culture, Context, and the Meaning of Abnormal Behavior Cultural norms provide guidance about how people should behave and what behavior is healthy or unhealthy. The definition of normal can change as society changes. Cultural norms can be limiting, oppressive, and prejudicial. Individuals who fight to change the established social order sometimes face the possibility of being labeled deviant—and even mentally ill. Many of the diagnostic categories we trace in this chapter primarily reflect Western (and often U.S.) notions of normality and applying these to other cultures can be misleading and even inappropriate. C. Theoretical Approaches to Psychological Disorders The Biological Approach The biological approach attributes psychological disorders to organic, internal causes. This perspective primarily focuses on the brain, genetic factors, and neurotransmitter functioning as the sources of abnormality. The biological approach is evident in the medical model, which describes psychological disorders as medical diseases with a biological origin. The Psychological Approach The psychological approach emphasizes the contribution of experiences, thoughts, emotions,
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and personality characteristics to explain psychological disorders. The Sociocultural Approach The sociocultural approach emphasizes the social contexts in which a person lives, including gender, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, family relationships, and culture. For instance, poverty is related to rates of psychological disorders.
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