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CCOG for PSY 239 Spring 2024

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Course Number:
PSY 239
Course Title:
Introduction to Abnormal Psychology
Credit Hours:
Lecture Hours:
Lecture/Lab Hours:
Lab Hours:

Course Description

Surveys the history, theories, etiology, assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of the spectrum of psychological disorders. Prerequisites: (PSY 201 or PSY 201A or PSY 202A) or (AD 102 with instructor permission), and (WR 115 and RD 115) or IRW 115 and MTH 20 or equivalent placement. Audit available.

Intended Outcomes for the course

Upon completion of the course students should be able to:

  1. Enhance personal and social interactions by using the knowledge of the history and major theories of abnormal behavior.
  2. Better understand one’s own and others’ behavior by applying the knowledge of assessment, diagnosis, classification systems and DSM categories.
  3. Become a more effective consumer of and advocate for mental health care services through an understanding of the various approaches to the diagnosis and treatment of psychological disorders.

Outcome Assessment Strategies

Students may demonstrate learning outcomes by any, some or all of the following:

1. Written assignments designed to integrate course material into personal experience, such as case studies, reflection paper etc…

2. Attendance at, or participation in lectures, workshops, or other community or campus events related to the field of abnormal psychology.

3. Exams consisting of objective and/or essay questions that require integration, application, and critical examination of course concepts.

4. Whatever other methods the instructor deems appropriate, such as Service Learning options, interviews with practitioners etc...

Course Content (Themes, Concepts, Issues and Skills)

Historical and Contemporary Views of Abnormal Behavior

2. Theoretical Perspectives: Defining Abnormal Behavior

3. Research Methods in Abnormal Psychology

4. Nervous System, Endocrine System, and Abnormal Behavior

5. Clinical Assessment, Interpretation and Diagnosis of Abnormal Behavior

6. Classification of Abnormal Behavior (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders)

7. Personality Disorders

8. Anxiety Disorders

9. Somatoform, Factitious, and Dissociative Disorders

10. Sexual and Gender Disorders

11. Mood Disorders

12. Schizophrenia

13. Developmental Disorders

14. Delirium and Dementia

15. Substance-Related Disorders

16. Eating Disorders

17. Sleep Disorders

18. Impulse Control Disorders

19. Treatment of Abnormal Behavior. Biological and psychological therapies.

20. Legal, political, and cultural issues related to abnormal behavior.

21. Economic and Insurance issues.

22. Professional licensing.


Competencies and Skills:

1. Indicate the criteria currently used to define abnormal behavior.

2. Discuss the biological, psychological, behavioral, cognitive, humanistic-existential and sociocultural models of abnormal behavior.

3. Describe how abnormal behavior is assessed and diagnosed.

4. Trace the development of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).

5. Compare and contrast the following research methods: experimental method; correlational method; case study method; survey method.

6. Integrate the medical and psychological models of mental illness.

7. Describe the principles of classical and operant conditioning and their contributions to understanding the development and treatment of psychological disorders.

8. Demonstrate an understanding of the cognitive-behavioral perspective regarding the origins of psychological disorder and the application of cognitive-behavioral principles to treatment.

9. Describe the basic structures and functions of the nervous system and the implications of brain-behavior relationships for psychological disorders.

10. Discuss the influence of genetics on the development of psychological disorder, and the methods used to evaluate the relative contributions of genetics and the environment.

11. Describe and give specific examples of personality disorders

12. Describe and give specific examples of anxiety disorders.

13. Describe and give specific examples of somatoform, factitious, and dissociative disorders.

14. Describe and give specific examples of sexual and gender disorders.

15. Describe and give specific examples of mood disorders.

16. Describe and give specific examples of schizophrenia.

17. Describe and give specific examples of developmental disorders.

18. Describe and give specific examples of delirium and dementia.

19. Describe and give specific examples of substance-related disorders.

20. Describe and give specific examples of eating disorders.

21. Describe and give specific examples of sleep disorders.

22. Provide specific examples of how psychological disorders are treated.