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Chapter Two
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  1. Chapter Two Models of Abnormal Behavior

  2. One-Dimensional Models of Mental Disorders (cont’d.) • Most explanations or causes of abnormal behavior fall into four distinct camps: • Biological explanations • Psychological explanations • Social explanations • Sociocultural explanations

  3. One-Dimensional Models of Mental Disorders (cont’d.) • These one-dimensional views are overly simplistic: • Set up a false “either-or” dichotomy between nature and nurture • Fail to recognize the reciprocal influences of one on the other • Mask the importance of acknowledging the contributions of all four dimensions in the origin of mental disorders

  4. A Multipath Model of Mental Disorders • Biopsychosocial model: • Attempts to integrate biological, psychological, and social factors, but gives little importance to sociocultural influences • Multipath model: Suggested by your text • Provides an organizational framework for understanding the causes of mental disorders, the complexity of their interacting components, and the need to view disorders from a holistic framework

  5. A Multipath Model of Mental Disorders (cont’d.) Figure 2-1 The Multipath Model Each dimension of the multipath model contains factors found to be important in explaining abnormal behavior.

  6. A Multipath Model of Mental Disorders (cont’d.) • Assumptions of the multipath model: • No one perspective can explain the development of mental disorders • Multiple pathways to and causes of a disorder • Explanations must consider all four dimensions • Not all dimensions contribute equally to a disorder • The multipath model is integrative and interactive • Strengths of a person may serve as protective factors against psychopathology

  7. A Multipath Model of Mental Disorders (cont’d.) Figure 2-1a The Resilience Model Strengths, assets and protective factors that help maximize mental health and allow individuals to bounce back from trauma and stressful life events.

  8. Dimension One: Biological Factors • Biological models have been heavily influenced by the neurosciences • Understanding biological explanations requires knowledge about the structure and function of the central nervous system

  9. The Human Brain Figure 2-4 The Internal Structure of the Brain A cross-sectional view of the brain reveals the forebrain, midbrain, and hindbrain. Some of the important brain structures are identified within each of the divisions.

  10. Biochemical Theories (cont’d.) Figure 2-5 Major Parts of a Neuron The major parts of a neuron are dendrites, the cell body, the axon, and the axon terminals.

  11. Biochemical Theories (cont’d.) • Synapse: • Gap between axon of sending neuron and dendrites of receiving neuron • Neurotransmitters: • Chemicals that help transmit messages between neurons

  12. Biochemical Theories (cont’d.) Figure 2-6 Synaptic Transmission Messages travel via electrical impulses from one neuron to another. The impulse crosses the synapse in the form of chemicals called neurotransmitters. Note that the axon terminals and the receiving dendrites do not touch.

  13. Genetic Explanations • Genetic makeup plays an important role in developing abnormal conditions • Autonomic nervous system reactivity may be inherited • Hereditary factors are implicated in alcoholism, schizophrenia, and depression • Genotype: genetic makeup • Phenotype: observable physical and behavioral characteristics

  14. Neuroscience and Abnormal Psych • The frontal lobes help us think, plan, reason, make decisions and inhibit our impulses. • The Sympathetic (fight or flight) portion of our Autonomic (Involuntary) Nervous System may contribute to anxiety, and may lower our ability to inhibit our impulses. • The Limbic System (Amygdala, Hippocampus and Thalamus) helps connect the brain and body – particularly in terms of emotion. • The Reticular Activating System (a network of fibers running through the brainstem) regulates alertness and controls the amount of stimulation entering the rest of the brain.

  15. Biology-Based Treatment Techniques • Psychopharmacology: • Study of effect of drugs on mind and behavior • Electroconvulsive therapy: • Application of electric voltage to the brain to induce convulsions • Psychosurgery: • Brain surgery for the purpose of correcting a severe mental disorder

  16. Multipath Implications of Biological Explanations • Science increasingly rejects a simple linear explanation of genetic determinism • Disorders are seen as the result of complex interactive and often reciprocal processes • Epigenetics: field focused on understanding how environmental factors influence gene expression • Genome: all the genetic material in the chromosomes of an organism • Environment affects biochemical and brain activity, as well as structural neurological circuitry

  17. Dimension Two: Psychological Factors • Psychological explanations vary considerably depending on the psychologist’s theoretical orientation • Four major perspectives: • Psychodynamic • Behavioral • Cognitive • Humanistic-existential

  18. Psychodynamic Models • Psychodynamic model: • Adult disorders arise from childhood traumas or anxieties • Childhood-based anxieties operate unconsciously and are repressed through defense mechanisms because they are too threatening to face • Defense mechanism: • Ego-defense mechanisms that protect the individual from anxiety, operate unconsciously, and distorts reality

  19. Psychodynamic Models (cont’d.) • Personality structure: • Id: • Impulsive, pleasure-seeking aspect of our being; immediate gratification of instinctual needs • Ego: • Realistic, rational part of mind • Sense of self • Helps Id find ways of getting what it wants without offending superego • Superego: • Conscience/Sense of Right and Wrong • Freud believed these three parts of personality are constantly in conflict with one another, causing anxiety.

  20. Psychodynamic Models (cont’d.) • Psychosexual stages: • Sequence of stages through which personality develops: • Oral (first year of life) • Anal (second year of life) • Phallic (beginning ages 3-4) • Latency (approximately ages 6-12) • Genital (beginning in puberty) • Fixation: emotional development gets stuck at a particular psychosexual stage

  21. Psychodynamic Models (cont’d.) • Defense mechanisms: • Characteristics: • Protect individuals from anxiety • Operate unconsciously • Distort reality • Maladaptive when overused • Examples: • • •Repression: most significant defense mechanism, upon which all other defense mechanisms are based. • •Rationalization: inventing a false reason for behavior

  22. Psychodynamic Models (cont’d.) • Traditional psychodynamic therapy: • Psychoanalysis has three main goals: • Uncovering repressed material • Helping clients achieve insight into desires and motivations • Resolving childhood conflicts that affect current relationships

  23. Psychodynamic Models (cont’d.) • Traditional psychodynamic therapy: • Four methods to achieve therapeutic goals • Free association • Dream analysis • Resistance • Transference

  24. Psychodynamic Models (cont’d.) • Contemporary psychodynamic theories: • Very few psychodynamic therapists practice traditional psychoanalysis • Post-Freudian theories place less emphasis on sex and more emphasis on: • Freedom of choice and future goals • Ego autonomy • Social forces • Object relations (past interpersonal relations) • Treatment of seriously disturbed people

  25. Psychodynamic Models (cont’d.) • Criticism of psychodynamic models: • Freud’s observations made under uncontrolled conditions • Patients represented a very narrow spectrum of his society • Models cannot be applied to a wide range of disturbed people • Formulations are difficult to investigate in a scientific manner

  26. Behavioral Models • Classical conditioning paradigm: • Classical conditioning: • Process in which involuntary responses to stimuli are learned through association • Unconditioned stimulus (UCS): • Elicits an unconditioned response • Unconditioned response (UCR): • The unlearned response made to an unconditioned stimulus

  27. Behavioral Models (cont’d.) • Classical conditioning paradigm: • Conditioned stimulus (CS): • Neutral stimulus that acquires some properties of another stimulus with which it is paired • Conditioned response (CR): • The learned response made to a previously neutral stimulus that has acquired some properties of another stimulus with which it was paired

  28. Behavioral Models (cont’d.) Figure 2-8 A Basic Classical Conditioning Process Dogs normally salivate when food is provided (left). With his laboratory dogs, Ivan Pavlov paired the ringing of a bell with the presentation of food (middle). Eventually, the dogs would salivate to the ringing of the bell alone, when no food was near (right).

  29. Behavioral Models (cont’d.) Classical Conditioning Classical Conditioning involves the pairing of an unconditioned stimulus with a conditioned stimulus in order to learn and produce new responses.

  30. Behavioral Models (cont’d.) • Operant conditioning paradigm: • Operant behavior: • A voluntary and controllable behavior that “operates” on an individual’s environment • Operant conditioning: • Choosing to engage in voluntary behaviors to get rewards or avoid consequences. • Behavioral models also include learning by watching others.

  31. Behavioral Models (cont’d.) Rat in a Skinner Box Take a tour of the Skinner box and see a demonstration of reinforcement contingencies that govern operant conditioning.

  32. Cognitive Models • Cognitive models: • Thinking and mental processes determine behavior, personality, and tendency toward mental health or illness. • Cognitive dynamics in psychopathology: • Causes of psychopathology: • Actual irrational and maladaptive assumptions and thoughts • Distortions of the actual thought process

  33. Cognitive Models (cont’d.) • Cognitive approaches to therapy: • Highly specific learning experiences designed to teach clients to: • Monitor negative, automatic thoughts (cognitions) • Recognize connections between cognition, affect, and behavior • Examine evidence for and against distorted automatic thoughts • Substitute more reality-oriented interpretations • Identify and alter beliefs that predispose them to distort their experiences

  34. Humanistic-Existential Models • Assumptions: • Reality: • The product of our unique experiences and perceptions of the world; subjective universe is more important than the events themselves • People have free choice/personal responsibility • A person’s wholeness or integrity is critically important • We have the ability to become what we want and to fulfill our capacities

  35. Humanistic-Existential Models (cont’d.) • The humanistic perspective: • Abnormal behavior results from disharmony between a person’s potential and self-concept • Positive view of the individual • Carl Rogers best known of humanists • Humanity is basically good, forward-moving, and trustworthy

  36. Humanistic-Existential Models (cont’d.) • The humanistic perspective: • Actualizing tendency: • People are motivated to satisfy not only biological needs, but also the self • Abraham Maslow’s actualizing tendency: • Self-actualization: • Inherent tendency to strive toward realization of one’s full potential (to become your best or actual self/fulfill your potential as a human being)

  37. Humanistic-Existential Models (cont’d.) • The humanistic perspective: • Development of abnormal behavior • Rogers: If left unencumbered by societal restrictions, we would become fully functioning people • Self-concept: assessment of one’s value and worth • Imposition of conditions of worth, transmitted via conditional positive regard, results in disharmony, or incongruence, between one’s potential and one’s self-concept • Unconditional positive regard: Value and respect a person, separate from one’s actions

  38. Humanistic-Existential Models (cont’d.) • Existential perspective: • Shares with humanistic psychology emphasis on individual uniqueness • Stresses need for meaning in life • Also differs in following ways: • Less optimistic than humanistic therapy • Individual must be viewed in context of human condition • Stresses not only individual responsibility but also responsibility to others

  39. Criticisms of humanistic and existential approaches: • “Fuzzy,” ambiguous, nebulous nature • Applied to a restricted population • Creative in describing human condition, but not in constructing theory • Not suited to scientific or experimental investigation • Subjective, intuitive, and empathic; not empirically based • Effective with intelligent, well-educated, relatively “normal” clients, not severely disturbed clients

  40. Dimension Three: Social Factors • Assumptions of social-relational models: • Healthy relationships are important for human development and functioning • These relationships provide many intangible health benefits • When relationships are dysfunctional or absent, individuals may be more prone to mental disturbances

  41. Social-Relational Models • Family, couples, and group perspectives: • Family systems model: • Behavior of one family member directly affects entire family system • Characteristics: • Personality development ruled by family attributes • Abnormal behavior is a reflection of unhealthy family dynamics and poor communication • Therapist must focus on the family system, not just the individual

  42. Social-Relational Models (cont’d.) • Social-relational treatment approaches: • Conjoint family therapeutic approach: • Stresses importance of teaching message-sending and message-receiving skills to family members • Strategic family approach: • Deals with family power struggles by shifting to a more healthy distribution • Structural family approach: • Reorganizes family in relation to family involvement

  43. Social-Relational Models (cont’d.) • Social-relational treatment approaches: • Couples therapy: • Aimed at helping couples understand and clarify their communication, needs, roles, and expectations • Group therapy: • Members of group are initially strangers • Focus on interrelationships and dynamics of interaction among members

  44. Social-Relational Models (cont’d.) • Criticisms of social-relational models: • Studies have generally not been rigorous in design • Groups tend to operate under culture-bound definitions • Family systems models may have negative consequences: • Parental influence may not be a factor in an individual’s disorder but are burdened with guilt

  45. Dimension Four: Sociocultural Factors • Emphasizes importance of the following factors in explaining mental disorders • Race • Ethnicity • Gender • Sexual orientation • Religious preference • Socioeconomic status • Physical disabilities

  46. Race and Ethnicity: Multicultural Models of Psychopathology • Past cultural models: • Inferiority model: • Contends that racial and ethnic minorities are inferior to majority population • Deficit model: • Minority groups lacked “right” culture • The universal shamanic tradition: • Non-Western indigenous psychologies assume special healers have power to act as intermediaries between the human and spirit worlds

  47. Race and Ethnicity: Multicultural Models of Psychopathology (cont’d.) • Multicultural model (current model): • Recognizes differences in cultures, and that each culture has its own strengths and limitations • Assumes all theories of human development arise from a particular cultural context • Suggests that sociocultural stressors reside within the social system – not within the person • Appropriate treatment, therefore, may be served through teaching self-help skills and strategies to negotiate client’s social situation

  48. Race and Ethnicity: Multicultural Models of Psychopathology (cont’d.) • Criticisms of the multicultural model: • Operates from relativistic framework: normal and abnormal behavior must be evaluated from a cultural perspective • Critics argue “a disorder is a disorder,” regardless of cultural context • Lacks empirical validation concerning its concepts and assumptions • Based on Western worldview