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Flashcards in Deviation from ideal mental health Deck (5)
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- Behaviour is abnormal if it fails to meet prescribed criteria for psychological normality.
- Abnormality is related to the lack of contented existence.
- All humans should strive to reach their full potential - this is Self Actualisation.



- Jahoda devised the concept of ideal mental health.
- She identifies 6 characteristics that individuals MUST exhibit in order to be classed as normal.
- Absence of these characteristics indicates that an individual is abnormal.

1. Autonomy - are independent and make their own decisions.
2. Perception of reality - not too optimistic or pessimistic, show sign of empathy
3. Personal growth - development of self actualisation
4. Integration - must cope well in stress and anxiety
5. Environmental mastery - successful and well adapted
6. Self attitudes - High self esteem


Weakness: Idealistic

- Characteristics of Ideal Mental Health are seen as far too idealistic.
- Evidence to support this comes from Maslow who argued that only a few people ever achieve self-actualisation. So the criteria is set too high.
- This is a weakness as most people will be defined as abnormal based on this definition. So if majority is abnormal, then not achieving self actualisation is normal, indicating that DIMH is a poor definition.


Weakness: Subjective

- 6 criteria are based on abstract concepts and ideals and are difficult to define and measure.
- For instance, how much 'self attitude' do we need to be judged as psychologically healthy?
-This is a limitation as using subjective judgement decreases reliability and validity.


Strength: Highlights areas of dysfunction

- It highlight areas of dysfunction that the patient can work on and improve in their life.
- This can be very important when treating different types of disorders for example those who don't show high self attitudes might be showing signs of depression.
- This can highlight the area of dysfunction to patient and psychologist.