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Year 11 Psychology-Semester 1 > Mental Health > Flashcards

Flashcards in Mental Health Deck (33):

Define normal:

behaviour that is considered to be normal when it helps a person to assimilate appropriately into their society or culture


Define abnormal:

behaviour that is viewed as ‘out of the ordinary’. These behaviours go against societal and cultural norms, may reflect some kind of impairment, or consist of unwelcome behaviours


What is maladaptive?

Behaviours that are unhelpful and impair an individual’s functioning


What is adaptive?

behaviours that enable a person to operate in their community, attend school and relate with others


Normality, which is characterised by typical behaviours, can be determined through a number of aspects, which include:

The situation in which the behaviour occurs, the person’s gender, their cultural, religious and educational background, their physical health, societal rules and in uences, and their state of mental health.


A behaviour is generally considered to be ‘normal’ when it is one that is typical for the speci c situation or context, and accepted within the society and culture. What are some approaches to normality?

> situational
> societal and cultural
> historical
> statistical
> functional
> medical.
Situations? Functions? Statistics?


What is the situational approach to normality?

How we behave in specific situations can classify our behaviour as being normal or not. An example; normal to laugh when a friend is telling a joke, but not when someone is delivering a eulogy at a funeral.


What is the societal and cultural approach To normality?

Within a society there are norms and rules that govern our social behaviour. These can be linked to our ethnic and cultural background. The way we interact with others, the way we dress, what we eat and the way we talk can all be based on societal rules and expectations. An example; In Chile a baby girl usually has her ears pierced before leaving hospital after birth. Other societies and cultures may shun the thought of ear piercing completely.


What is the historical approach to normality?

The concept of normality is embedded in history and changes over time. An example; Try speaking an older style of English, such as that used in a Shakespearean play, and you will probably get odd looks


What is the statistical approach to normality?

Normality can also be defined in terms of the frequency with which a behaviour or characteristic occurs within the population. A set of data is collected, and measures of central tendency (mean, mode and median) and range are calculated to determine the average behaviour or characteristic. Data that lie outside the normal range for the population could be considered abnormal. For example, an extremely tall girl whose family is quite short may not be considered normal, but a tall girl who comes from a tall family is considered normal for that population (her family).


What is the functional approach to normality?

Psychological dysfunction occurs when there is a breakdown in the way a person thinks, feels and behaves. A person who can think, feel and behave in a manner that allows them to carry out the activities they wish to do and be a productive member of society is considered normal. They can function relatively independently at a level expected for their age.
For example, avoiding a party because you don’t know anyone there. It is when these thoughts, feelings and behaviours become intense and interfere with normal activities that a mental disorder may exist.


What is the medical approach to normality?

The medical approach to normality views a mental disorder in terms of a physical illness with a possible biological basis. The person’s state of mental health is determined by a set of symptoms that may have genetic, biochemical or physical origins. For example: a person suffering from a mood disorder such as depression, may need anti-depressant medication such as a serotonin re-uptake inhibitor to help balance the chemical imbalance in the brain and relieve the person’s symptoms of persistent sadness. If a parent has a mental disorder, then heredity may play a role and increase that person’s chance of developing a mental disorder in the future.


What is adaptive behaviours?

Adaptive behaviours are age-appropriate ‘everyday living skills’ that can be as basic as walking, talking, dressing on our own, attending school or cooking up a huge bowl of popcorn.


The ability to developmentally cope and adapt is influenced by many factors.
Factors that influence the development of adaptive behaviours:

> Personality predisposition – The ability to cope and maintain resilience is largely influenced by personality and temperament.
> Resilience – ability to bounce back from difficult situations or life’s problems can be learned from parental modelling, teachers and/or peers.
> Secure attachment – where the relationship with the mother or caregiver is positive
> Parental interest in education – this helps the young person develop their sense of belonging within the family structure, school and enables them to develop positive self-worth.
> Happy and secure home environment – regardless of whether parents live together or apart.
> Financial security.


What is maladaptive behaviour?

Maladaptive behaviours develop as a means of reducing anxiety and originate from early childhood experiences, family situations and environmental stressors. In a way, they can be viewed as a coping mechanism. Unfortunately, these behaviours generally interfere with a person’s ability to function on a day-to- day basis and impair their adjustment to di erent situations.


What type of behaviour may a child show if they. Are showing maladaptive behaviour?

These behaviours are sometimes evident when children begin school and can include: rocking, repetitive movements or repeating words and phrases, ritualistic behaviours, self-harm, tantrums, screaming, violent or aggressive behaviour, lack of cooperation, verbally inappropriate behaviour, calling out in class or being disruptive.


Factors that influence whether a child will develop adaptive or maladaptive behaviours include:

Environmental stressors and early childhood experiences.


Early childhood experiences that influence whether a child will develop adaptive or maladaptive behaviours include:

> Unhelpful parenting – inconsistent and harsh parenting style.
> Parents that prioritise their own needs over those of their childrens.
> Parents who model maladaptive behaviours such as drinking excessively or taking drugs.
> Parents who show little interest in their children’s educational needs.
> Parents that encourage ‘risk-taking’ behaviours.
> Violence, abuse and neglect. Children can develop Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD), anxiety and depression.
> Genetics – a predisposition to psychological and behavioural disorders such as depression, psychosis, ADHD, conduct disorders, learning disabilities or substance abuse.
> Personality predisposition – can influence how they deal with a stressor. Some personalities are more resilient and positive than others.
> Trauma, grief and loss – illness, death, rejection and abandonment


Environmental stressors that influence whether a child will develop adaptive or maladaptive behaviours include

> Poverty and unemployment.
> Natural disasters – A person could become quite withdrawn and avoid situations due to their high level of anxiety and fear


What is mental health?

A state of emotional and social wellbeing in which individuals can realise their own abilities, cope with the normal stresses of life, work productively and contribute to their community.


What is a mental disorder?

Is one that affects one or more functions of the mind and can interfere with a person’s thoughts, emotions, perceptions and behaviours. It is a serious departure from normal functions, and can cause considerable distress and suffering for the person and their close friends and family.


Define mental disorder:

'A recognised, medically diagnosable illness that results in the significant impairment of an individual’s cognitive, affective (emotional) or relational abilities. Mental disorders can result from biological, developmental and/ or psychosocial factors and usually require treatment to be alleviated'


What is mental health problems?

problems that cause emotional, cognitive and behavioural difficulties that affect relationships and functioning in everyday life


What are internal factors?

referring to an individual’s personality, emotions, intelligence, self-esteem, or physical health.


What are external factors?

refer to influences that originate from the person’s environment such as family, school, friends, work, social, cultural, religious, education, employment and socio-economic status.


Sometimes internal and external factors are considered in terms of ‘locus of control’, which reflects:

whether a person perceives that they have control over their behaviour or they are controlled by external factors.


Locus of control example for internal locus

For example, a student who has an internal locus of control will be more likely to take responsibility for their learning and the way they act. If they perform well on a SAC, they will see this as a reflection of their hard work and feel pride in their performance. On the other hand, if they don’t do as well as they had hoped, they will accept that they need to work harder for the next test.


Locus of control example for external locus

A person with an external locus of control believes that their behaviour is governed by outside in uences such as luck. A student may say that they did well on the SAC because it was easy, or if they did badly, that it was the teachers fault!


Can both internal and external locus' be either protective and potentially adaptive factors, or risk factors that lead to maladaptive behaviours?

Both can be either protective and potentially adaptive factors, or risk factors that lead to maladaptive behaviours and the inability to cope with changes in our lives. The greater the number of internal and external risk factors, the greater the chance of developing a mental disorder. Consequently, mental health is a product of internal and external factors.


What is eustress?

reflect a stress that is positive in nature.
It's stress that comes from good news, such as winning a trip overseas, and refers to a positive psychological response to a perceived stressor.


What is distress?

Negative stress, which refers to a negative psychological response to a perceived stressor.


What is psychosis?

a mental illness where there is some loss of contact with reality


What is neurosis?

refers to non-psychotic illnesses where, although a sense of reality remains, there are difficulties with thoughts, feelings and behaviours, and the person experiences suffering and dysfunctional behaviour