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Chapter 3 - Psyc3230 08:21:00 Causal Factors and Viewpoints...

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Psyc 3230 02/09/2011 08:21:00 Causal Factors and Viewpoints in Abnormal Psychology I. 1. Causes and risk factors 2. Biological viewpoints Viewpoints since 1900 What causes people to act maladaptively If know causes then: o May be able to prevent, reverse or treat o May be able to classify based on cause Process of causation is complex Often refer to ‘risk’ factors, not causes Causes and Risk Factors Etiology the causal pattern of abnormal behavior Necessary cause must exist for a disorder to occur (rare) o Disease causes illness o Rarely found in psychological disorders Sufficient cause guarantees the occurrence of a disorder o Hopelessness leads to depression o But depression can be caused by other factors Contributory cause increases the probability of developing a disorder
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e.g. parental abuse increases risk for personality disorders Causes and Risk Factors It is important to distinguish between distal causal factors and proximal (immediate) causal factors A reinforcing contributory cause maintains maladaptive behavior that is already occurring Withdrawal in depression – loss of social support Causes and Risk Factors Our concepts of causal relationships must take into account the following: Feedback E.g. feedback from body – anxiety attack Patterns of interaction View world as hostile – hostile interactions Circularity Suspicious spouse aversive to partner Diathesis-stress models Causes and Risk Factors Diathesis-stress models Diathesis relatively distal necessary or contributory cause that is not sufficient to cause the disorder Predisposition; increased vulnerability Genetic, psychological, socio-cultural Stress the response of an individual to proximal demands perceived as taxing (assume that if diathesis makes vulnerable, stress precipitates problem)
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Additive model: summation reaches threshold Interactive model: combination like on/off switch Causes and Risk Factors Protective factors influences that modify a person’s response to environmental stressors, making adverse consequences less likely Resilience the ability to adapt successfully to even very difficult circumstances Multi-causal & variability throughout life Viewpoints for Understanding Causes of Abnormal Behavior Viewpoints : Help professionals organize observations Provide systems of thought Suggest areas of focus Viewpoints are theoretical constructions devised to orient psychologists in the study of abnormal behavior Many theorists are pushing for a more integrative biopsychosocial viewpoint Trends in areas of focus 1. biological viewpoint (genetics and physiology ) 2. behavioral & cognitive-behavioral viewpoints (psychological processes ) 3. sociocultural viewpoint (society and culture ) 4. biopsychosocial viewpoint (integration of 1 thru 3 above )
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