L1: Intro to Abnormal Psychology Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in L1: Intro to Abnormal Psychology Deck (14):

What is abnormal psychology? Include four elements of the discipline.

The scientific study of mental disorders. Aim is to describe, understand causation and maintenance, and identify effective treatment.


Historically, how were mental disorders understood prior to the rise of the psychoanalytic model?

Thought to be one or a few kinds of madness/insanity.

- Severe symptoms similar to what we'd consider psychosis, schizophrenia or dementia today.

- anxiety, depression etc. not consider forms of mental disorder, but part of the personality.


How have the quantity of patients and workers in the mental health care professions changed over the past century?

- historically only a small number of people were treated for mental health issues in insane asylums. Workers were doctors or untrained alienists.

- now the definition of mental illness has expanded to encompass a larger proportion of the public. There are large number of professions, eg. psychologists, counsellors, social workers etc. working in the field.


Why is the number of people seeking treatment not an accurate estimate of the number of people meeting criteria for a mental disorder?

Treatment seeking depends on financial and cultural factors, knowledge, education, beliefs


What are three measures of prevalence used in psychiatric epidemiology?

Point prevalence, one year prevalence and lifetime prevalence.


Define point prevalence.

How many people have disorder X at the point the survey is conducted.


Define one year prevalence.

How many people have had disorder X in a one year period.


Define lifetime prevalence.

How many people have had disorder X in the course of their entire lifetime.


What is incidence?

What percentage of people will newly develop disorder X within a given time period.


What is the lifetime prevalence of mental disorders in adults?



What is the lifetime prevalence of mental disorders before age 21?



What is the lifetime prevalence of any mental disorder in the general population?



Approximately what fraction of people who met diagnostic criteria for a mental disorder sought treatment?



What are the four general criteria a mental disorder must meet in the DSM?

- there must be a clinically significant behavioral or psychological pattern

- associated with current distress or disability, or a significantly increased risk of suffering death, pain, disability, or an important loss of freedom

- can't be a culturally sanctioned or expected response to an event

- whatever the original cause, must currently be a manifestation of biological, psychological or behavioral dysfunction in the individual.