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An Integrative Approach to Psychopathology. Chapter 2 Abnormal Psychology. Multidimensional Integrative Approach. Psychopathology: Biological roots Psychological roots Socio-cultural roots As opposed to one dimensional perspectives.

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an integrative approach to psychopathology

An Integrative Approach to Psychopathology

Chapter 2

Abnormal Psychology

multidimensional integrative approach
Multidimensional Integrative Approach
  • Psychopathology:
    • Biological roots
    • Psychological roots
    • Socio-cultural roots
      • As opposed to one dimensional perspectives
Behavioral: emotions become associated with situations

Biological: inherited traits/genetic contributions

Emotional: influences how we think about and respond to situations

Social: familial/peer influences, cultural context

Developmental: “critical periods”- we may be particularly susceptible due to developmental timing

genetic contributions to psychopathology
Genetic Contributions to Psychopathology
  • Traits are influenced by our genetic endowment
  • Polygenetic inheritance: psychological characteristics are influenced by many genes, which interact with the environment; each gene has a very small effect
genetic contributions to psychopathology1
Genetic Contributions to Psychopathology
  • Environmental contexts and experiences determine whether or not genes are expressed or “turned on”
study of genes and behavior
Study of Genes and Behavior
  • Twin studies:
    • Comparing heritability estimates between identical and fraternal twins
    • Schizophrenia: if one identical twin has the disorder, the other twin has approximately a 50% chance of developing it (similar or lower in other disorders)
brain plasticity
Brain Plasticity
  • Research: the structure and functioning of the brain is continually shaped by experience
    • Early childhood: deprivation
    • Adulthood: exposure to stress/trauma; effects of therapy/learning, etc.
diathesis stress model
Diathesis-Stress Model
  • We inherit tendencies toward particular behavioral traits which may become activated during times of stress
    • Particular life events may trigger the symptoms of a disorder
diathesis stress model1
Diathesis-Stress Model
  • Example:
    • Individual with a genetic vulnerability, a history of childhood abuse, and current stress in adulthood
      • These factors interact to influence the development of symptoms
genes and environments influence each other
Genes and Environments Influence Each Other
  • Our genetic vulnerability may increase the chance that we will experience stress
    • Example: we may have a personality trait/temperament that draws us toward stressful environments and relationships, which lead to depression
    • Niche-picking: genes may lead us to “select” certain environments
recent research genetic contributions
Recent Research:Genetic Contributions
  • Genetic contributions to disorders may be overstated in the research
    • Some undermine the importance of environments in the expression of genes
    • The critical role of early environments and experiences
summarizing genetic contributions
Summarizing Genetic Contributions
  • Genes must always be understood in combination with environments (nature + nurture)
  • Maladaptive environments may impact us more or less depending on our genetic inheritance

The Neuron

Fig. 3.8

understanding neurons
Understanding Neurons
  • 140 billion neurons in the brain
  • Transmit information; chemical and electrical events
  • Neurotransmitters: chemicals affecting the brain and body; implicated in psychopathology
  • An increasingly complex picture
    • Not just “too much or too little”- neurotransmitters affect information processing
  • Psychotropic medications may block or inhibit the production of neurotransmitters, or may increase production
overview neurotransmitters
Overview: Neurotransmitters
  • GABA (inhibitory): affects information transmission- GABA tends to reduce anxiety- anti-anxiety meds allow more GABA to attach to receptors
  • Serotonin: information processing and mood regulation- different effects depending on the area of the brain
overview neurotransmitters1
Overview: Neurotransmitters
  • Dopamine: has a general effect, allowing other neurotransmitters to function; associated with pleasure seeking; revision to the “dopamine hypothesis”
  • Norepinephrine: does not appear to directly link to psychopathology, but works with other neurotransmitters; associated with fear responses, blood pressure, and heart rate
  • New hypotheses and findings:
    • Genetic contributions may affect patterns of neurotransmitter activity, which may influence personality characteristics and behaviors
    • Environments and experiences can shape and change neurotransmitter activity over time- brain scans with patients receiving therapy
  • Placebo effect:
    • The brain circuits/neurotransmitter activity change based on our expectations
brain changes learning and experience
Brain Changes- Learning and Experience
  • Learning/experience influences the structure of the neurons and the number of receptors
  • Studies:
    • Active vs. inactive rats- active rats have more neural connections and more active brains
    • Deprivation/enrichment: brain scans of children
lessons from behavioral and cognitive science
Lessons from Behavioral and Cognitive Science
  • The manner in which we process information shapes the learning and maintenance of certain behaviors
  • Events become “paired” and associated with each other
lessons from behavioral and cognitive science1
Lessons from Behavioral and Cognitive Science
  • Learned Helplessness: Seligman
    • When we give up and stop trying to cope
    • In response to stress that we perceive as beyond our control
    • Based on our attributions
new research learned optimism
New Research:Learned Optimism
  • Seligman- we function better psychologically and physically when we have hope, positive beliefs about ourselves, and positive attitudes
    • The mind-body connection
  • Emotions contribute to the development of psychopathology
  • Alarm reactions: fight or flight responses
  • Our emotional appraisals of a situation shape our reactions (behaviors)
  • Research on suppression: activates the sympathetic nervous system (responsible for fight or flight responses)
    • Suppression is linked with psychopathology
the role of culture
The Role of Culture
  • Culture shapes what we learn to fear, expect, believe, etc.
    • Example: case studies of Voodoo death
    • Cultures have difference constructions of psychopathology
the role of culture1
The Role of Culture
  • Culture shapes our constructions of gender
    • Perspectives on gender shape what we find socially acceptable
      • Example: men and experiences of fear and emotion; women and body image
social relationships and mental health
Social Relationships and Mental Health
  • Research: the experience of social support affects life expectancy
    • Physical and mental health is influenced by the quality and extent of our social relationships
    • Research: having a pet has been shown to lower heart rate and blood pressure
the role of social stigma
The Role of Social Stigma
  • The stigma of labels can affect individuals affected by mental health problems
    • Beliefs about moral weakness and unpredictability/aggression
developmental considerations
Developmental Considerations
  • Developmental stages and prior experience shapes the experience of psychopathology
  • Equifinality: the notion that there are multiple pathways and interacting factors that influence the development of psychopathology
  • New research findings are changing our understanding of psychopathology
  • A multidimensional perspective is needed to understand the development of psychological disorder