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Unformatted text preview: Definition of Abnormal Behavior and Historical Perspectives Perspectives Dr. Nolan Zane Dr. Concerns of Abnormal Psychology Concerns • Describing abnormal behavior – observations, psychometric data, self-report, other reports used to describe the behavior. • Explaining abnormal behavior – what caused and maintains the behavior. Causal models use principles and theories of behavior to account for what happened to the individual. to • Predicting abnormal behavior – anticipates and predicts types of problems and symptoms. Helps to verify diagnosis and causal explanation. explanation. • Controlling abnormal behavior – control or treat behavior, essentially change behavior in way that helps individual and society. society. Defining Abnormal Behavior Defining • Conceptual definitions Conceptual - Statistical deviation: based on relative frequency; abnormality defined as deviation from normative or average frequency. - Deviations from ideal mental health as defined by some theory or school of thought. • Multicultural perspectives: Culture is shared learned behaviors which is transmitted from generation to generation for the purposes of individual and societal growth, adjustment, and adaptation. - Cultural universality: disorders and their manifestation same regardless of culture, similar etiology, symptomatology, and course of illness for specific disorders. and - Cultural relativism: abnormality and abnormal behavior Cultural defined and determined by culture and worldviews. - Eisenberg (1977) – Disease is basic dysfunction in biological systems or psychological systems. Illness is a person's reaction to this dysfunction in terms of experienced states of discontinuity and role performance. • Practical definitions Practical - Discomfort (physical or psychological pain) – Experienced Discomfort pain and suffering usually motivating person to seek help. Even here there can be important individual and cultural differences. differences. - Deviance– unusual or rare experiences which usually are Deviance– distressing. At times, not distressing as with paranoia. - Dysfunction (gap between potential and performance) - how person functions in critical and important roles. - Symptoms vs. community functioning as outcome for mental health services. mental Integrated Perspectives • Strupp & Hadley’s (1977) three vantage points for judging mental health: – Society – The individual – The mental health professional • Surgeon General and DSM-IV-TR: – Abnormal behavior departs from some norm and harms the affected individual or others • An actual drawing, handed to a flight attendant on a Quantas flight by an 8 yr old girl. flight • Stereotypes of the mentally disturbed Stereotypes - Easily recognized as deviant – most of time the MD do not Easily have symptoms, no clear distinction between normal and abnormal. - Disorder due to inheritance – evidence for schizophrenia, mental retardation, bipolar disorders; heredity may make certain people more vulnerable, but environmental factors are very important. are - Incurable – 3/4s of those hospitalized for mental disorders Incurable recover sufficiently to lead productive lives. • Weak willed – This stereotype ignores the fact that mental health problems are the result of major traumas, disordered learning histories, and biological vulnerabilities that are difficult to change or control without formal treatment. to • Never contribute to society because they cannot be cured – notion of cure is itself a myth. • Dangerous – large majority of mental patients not violent or out of control. Historical Perspectives on Abnormal Behavior Abnormal • Prehistoric and ancient beliefs Prehistoric - Trephining (Stone Age people): chipping away portion Trephining of skull of - Exorcism practiced by early Greeks, Chinese, Hebrews Exorcism and Egyptians: prayers, drugs, starvation to drive out evil spirits. and • Naturalistic explanations (Greco-Roman thought) Naturalistic - Hippocrates: brain pathology, classification into mania, Hippocrates: melancholia, phrenitis (brain fever). Recognized role of environment (esp. family) and heredity. • Reversion to superstition (the Middle Ages) Reversion - Dark Ages (5th – 10th centuries): sinfulness, extreme Dark measures taken to rid person of the devil. measures - Witchcraft (fifteenth through seventeenth centuries): Witchcraft Social and political attacks on the church were seen by church officials as the work of Satan which was carried out by witches. by • Rise of humanism (the Renaissance) - emphasized the human welfare of patients. welfare • Reform movement (eighteenth and nineteenth centuries) Reform - Moral treatment movement which emphasized humane treatment of mental patients involving hygienic conditions, humanitarian care by staff, and rest and non-stressful living environments. environments. - 1st half of 19th century (1800-1860) moral treatment was 1st moral preferred approach – involved emphasizing regular habits and activities and conducting self in moral and proper manner. - By second half of 19th century hospitals had become overcrowded, treatment was inadequate. Mentally disturbed seen as organically caused and incurable. - For example, Worcester State Hospital: 1830-1870 avg. stay = 1 year. By 1950 average stay = 5 years. stay • Major changes and shift in psychiatric care in 1950s and 1960s due to 3 developments: due - Psychotropic medication controlled symptoms; patients Psychotropic could function in their communities could - Maxwell Jones introduced concept of therapeutic Maxwell community in England and Scotland. Assumed therapeutic community potential rests with patients and staff. - Decentralization (and localization) of services in which patients would be assigned to wards for a particular city or region. Staff could network with community in providing aftercare and residents would be with their neighbors. What Are Some Contemporary Trends in Abnormal Psychology? • The Drug Revolution: – 1950s: Rapidly and dramatically decreased or eliminated symptoms – Deinstitutionalization • Prescription privileges for psychologists • Managed health care: Industrialization of health care has created major changes in mental health professions Evidence-based Practices • Currently, in the mental health field, there has been a major movement toward emphasizing and prioritizing “evidence-based practices.” practices.” • Evidence-based practices (EBPs) in mental health refer to the development and use of only those psychological and medical interventions that have garnered some scientific basis or evidence that they are effective in treating a particular disorder. • Essentially, effective psychological treatment involves 3 essential processes: - applying the best available research evidence in the selection and application of treatments - using clinical expertise that encompasses a number of competencies that have been found to promote positive therapeutic outcomes - being responsive to the patient’s characteristics, culture, and personal preferences • Psychotherapies and treatments that satisfy rigorous research criteria such as those involved in randomized clinical trials (RCTs) are referred to as empirically supported treatments (ESTs) or empirically validated treatments (EVTs). What Are Some Contemporary Trends in Abnormal Psychology? (cont’d) • Appreciation for research – Neuroanatomy and role of neurotransmitters – Combining drug therapy with psychotherapy • Diversity/multicultural psychology – Culture, race, ethnicity, gender, age, SES relevant to understand/treat abnormality – Cultural sensitivity, knowledge of diversity, culturally relevant therapy – Cultural values and influences, sociopolitical influences, and bias (research & diagnosis) ...
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This note was uploaded on 09/13/2010 for the course PSC 49640 taught by Professor Schleper during the Spring '09 term at UC Davis.

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