Study Guide: Abnormal Psychology

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IB Psych Study Guide

ABNORMAL

To what extent do biological, cognitive, and sociocultural factors influence abnormal behavior? I. Introduction
* Biological, cognitive, and sociocultural factors influence abnormal behavior to a great extent. * All influence abnormal behavior such as anxiety disorders, affective disorders, and eating disorders. * All of these factors are considered “risk factors” increasing a person’s likelihood of having an abnormal psychiatric outcome but do not necessarily “cause” abnormalities. * One affective disorder that is strongly influenced by biological, cognitive, and sociocultural factors is Major Depressive Disorder (also known as depression)///// One eating disorder that is strongly influenced by biological, cognitive, and sociocultural factors is anorexia nervosa * How all factors contribute is suggested by Walkner/Tessner model

II. Biological (Inherited factors
INHERITED FACTORS
* Nurnberger and Gershon
-Higher concordance rate for depression for monozygotic twins (64%) than dizygotic twins (14%) -genetic factors might pre-dispose people to depression
-since much less than 100%, suggests genetic vulnerability rather than cause * Duenwald (2003)
-short variant of the S-HTT gene may be associated with a higher risk of depression -plays a role in the serotonin pathways which scientists think are involved in controlling mood, emotions, aggression, sleep, and anxiety * Joseph Schildkraut (1965)

-Catecholamine hypothesis: depression is associated with low levels of noradrenaline -this develops into serotonin hypothesis
* Serotonin Hypothesis
-serotonin is the neurtotransmitter responsible for depression -Delgado and Moreno (2000): study where balance of serotonin was off in patients with depression --affective disorder may influence production of neurotransmitters

PRENATAL/POSTNATAL
* Gunnar/cortisol
-639 Mexican mothers and kids in study
-depressed mothers in extreme poverty have children with less cortisol, hormone to cope with everyday stress -have children with “worn out” immune system, children more likely to suffer from major affective disorder * Effects on brain structure

-long term depression may result in structural changes in the brain -example: hippocampus may lose many neurons if depression persists for long time NEUROMATURATIONAL
* High rates is adolescence: hormonal, elderly, post partum III. Cognitive
STRESS
* Ellis (1962)
-proposed the cognitive style theory
-suggests that psychological disturbances often come from irrational and illogical thinking -people make faulty inferences about meaning of events
* Beck (1976) and the triad of negative thoughts
-based on schema processing where stored schemas about the self interfere with information processing -depressive patients have negative cognitive triad
1. overgeneralization based on negative events
2. non-logical inference about the self
3. dichotomous thinking (black and white thinking)- selective recall of negative events -negative schemas activated by stressful events
-appraise situation differently than other people: worse than it actually is and depression is maintained
in a cycle
* Alloy et al (1999)
-longitudinal perspective study followed a sample of young Americans in their twenties for 6 years -all were either categorized as “positive thinking” or “negative thinking” group -only 1% of positive thinking group suffered depression; 17% of negative thinking group did

**suggests a link between the cognitive style and development of depression

IV. Sociocultural
STRESS
* Brown and Harris (1978)
-Social origins of depression in women: 29 out of 32 women who became depressed had experienced a severe life event
**however, 78% of those who experienced a sever life event didn’t develop affective disorder
**life events which resemble previous experiences were more likely to lead to depression * Brown: Vulnerability...
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