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Abnormal Psychology - Depression and Theories of Abnormality

Abnormal psychology text presents three main theories of abnormality: biological, psychological, and sociocultural. How can these perspectives be integrated to explain symptoms of depression?

- What is the perspective of a theorist from each of the three models of abnormality (biological, psychological, and sociocultural perspective)? Please give supportive answers for each perspective (apa).

- How to view the factors leading to Susie's presenting behaviors?

Case vignette:

Susie is an 8-year-old Asian American girl; the youngest child in a family of four older siblings. Her parents are both high school teachers. When Susie was 5 years old, she was hospitalized for three weeks for a serious illness. Since that time, she has been in good health.

Susie is extremely shy and avoids situations in which she needs to interact with new people or large groups. She worries about making mistakes in her schoolwork and becomes extremely anxious when taking tests. Sometimes she becomes so nervous that her heart races; she begins to tremble and has difficulty breathing. Susie is also afraid of the dark and does not want to be alone in her room at night. She often requires the presence of one of her parents or older sisters until she falls asleep.

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Models of Psychopathology

(1) Abnormal psychology text presents three main theories of abnormality: biological, psychological, and socio-cultural. How can these perspectives be integrated to explain symptoms of depression?

Research points to several factors as contributors to the etiology of depression including: (a) situational factors, (b) thought patterns, (c) and organic factors. Situational factors can be caused by experiences associated with one’s social realities such as stress associated with daily living conditions. A second contributor to depression is revealed from psychological factors characterized by distorted thinking and irrational beliefs (De Raedt & Koster, 2010). In addition, research indicates that depression also have biological roots. However, based on the Diagnostic and statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-IV-TR [APA], 2000 depression is not a recognizable syndrome in which all symptoms do not have to be present for a diagnosis, nor is there any single symptom that must be present (pp.349-354). In other words, the syndrome associated with depression is recognized by a pattern of symptoms. Depression is recognized in patterns of behavior that distinguishes normal and healthy moods from abnormal and unhealthy. Given the DSM classification a therapist or researcher needs to question whether the person’s experience has a biological, sociological or psychological component. Thus, an integrated model may consist of biological (medication), psychological (cognitive therapy), and/or socio-cultural (e.g., social support systems/coping skills, etc.) perspectives.

(2) What is the perspective of a theorist from each of the three models of abnormality (biological, psychological, and socio-cultural perspective)? Please give supportive answers for each perspective.

A psychological view of depression has been presented in cognitive frameworks. For instance, De Raedt & Koster (2010) assert that emotional disorders are based on ...

Solution Summary

This solution discusses a case vignette based on three models of abnormality: biological, psychological, and sociocultural perspectives. Six references are given to support the answer.

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