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PS 401 Abnormal Psychology
Mason, Teresa L.


Mission Statement: The mission of Park University, an entrepreneurial institution of learning, is to provide access to academic excellence, which will prepare learners to think critically, communicate effectively and engage in lifelong learning while serving a global community.

Vision Statement: Park University will be a renowned international leader in providing innovative educational opportunities for learners within the global society.

Course

PS 401 Abnormal Psychology

Semester

S2F 2008 QU

Faculty

Mason, Teresa L.

Title

Assistant Professor of Psychology

Degrees/Certificates

Ph.D. Developmental Psychology
M.A. Developmental Psychology

Office Location

Quantico

Office Hours

TBA

Daytime Phone

703-598-1291

E-Mail

teresa.mason@park.edu

Semester Dates

17 March - 18 May

Class Days

----R--

Class Time

5:30 - 10:30 PM

Prerequisites

PS101

Credit Hours

3


Textbook:
Comer, R.J. (2007). Abnormal psychology (6th ed.). New York: Worth Publishers. ISBN 13- 978-0-7167-6906-4

Textbooks can be purchased through the MBS bookstore

Additional Resources:

  • American Psychiatric Association (2000). Quick reference to the diagnostic criteria from DSM-IV-R. Washington, DC:  American Psychiatric Association.
  • American Psychological Association (2001). Publication manual of the American Psychological Association (5th ed.). Washington, DC:  American Psychological Association.
  • Gorenstein, E.E. & Comer, R.J. (2002). Case studies in abnormal psychology (1st ed.). New York: Worth Publishers. 

McAfee Memorial Library - Online information, links, electronic databases and the Online catalog. Contact the library for further assistance via email or at 800-270-4347.
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http://www.quantico.usmc-mccs.org/quanticolibrary.htm - Quantico Marine Corps Base Family Library

Course Description:
An introduction and investigation of the causes, development, sympto-mology and treatment of abnormal behavior. Primary focus is an eclectic view of persons and their adaptation to their environment. 3:0:3 Prerequisite: PS 101.

Educational Philosophy:
I believe the ideal classroom is one where students add their own ideas to discussions, debate and challenge their fellow students, and actively think through the concepts being discussed.  I learn so much from my students and I know they learn a lot from each other as well.

Learning Outcomes:
  Core Learning Outcomes

  1. Demonstrate appropriate use of abnormal human behavior concepts, guided by the criteria of distress, deviance, dysfunction, danger.
  2. Differentiate and evaluate theories and treatments of psychopathology.
  3. Display ethical and responsible use of the DSM-IV.
  4. Identify the historical and cultural context of psychopathology.
  5. Critically examine the contextual influences on the theories and treatments of psychopathology.


Core Assessment:
All Park University courses are required to include a core assessment in order to measure the specific Departmental Learning Outcomes for each course. The core assessment for PS 401 Abnormal Psychology involves the application of knowledge of a particular disorder to a Case Study.  
 

DIRECTIONS:  After reading the case study, please answer the questions that are listed at the end of the case study.  Please list the category of the question e.g. EVALUATION, SYNTHESIS, etc., and number each question according to the numbers in the category listing. 

Assignment is worth 205 points.

The Core Assessment Rubric for this assignment can be found here RUBRIC and at the bottom of this page. 

Please review the Rubric to assist you in meeting the expectations when answering the questions.

Randy 

Presenting Complaint

Thirty-two-year-old Randy lives in a cabin in a remote rural area of Montana. He moved here 10 years ago after he left his parents’ home in suburban Sacramento, California. The cabin has no electricity or running water. Randy considers himself a survivalist; he heats his house with wood and gets his water from a nearby mountain stream or from the rainwater he collects. He grows vegetables and kills game and birds. He has a 20-year-old truck that he uses to go into town, a 100-mile trip from his isolated home. He inherited $50,000 from an aunt several years ago. He keeps the money in a passbook savings account in town and withdraws cash when he needs it. He doesn't have a regular job, but people have found that he is good with his hands. He does odd carpentry jobs occasionally, if he is in the mood.

When Randy goes into town, it is usually to get a couple of hundred dollars of cash out of the bank, buy a few things from the grocery store, such as coffee, milk, and household items, treat himself to lunch at the diner, and go to the library. On these trips, he might pick up a job or two.

The people who know Randy refer to him as "odd" but harmless. He often talks to himself when he eats or works. Some say that if they listen closely he appears to be carrying on a conversation with one or two other people. Randy wears worn-out clothing and has long hair and a bushy beard. He is often dirty and disheveled, but he is not so different in that regard from other men in the area.

The diner where Randy eats lunch has a television that is always on. Randy appears agitated by the television and he mumbles something like, "Turn that thing off. It is messing with my head." One of the waitresses humors him and asks the other clients if she can turn it off. Most agree. When that waitress isn't working, the television stays on. Then Randy doesn’t linger over his meal.

The librarian says Randy must be very bright, because he checks out history and philosophy books. In fact, she often orders books he wants from a large city library, as their library caters to the simple tastes of its rural populace.

One day, Randy came into the restaurant extremely agitated. He was pulling at his hair and talking loudly. He asked the waitress to give him something to stop the noise. What noise, she asked? He said, "The noise in my head. Since the television stole my brain I can't stop the noise." The waitress laughed and said, "Why don't you tell us what kind of noise is in your head? Maybe we want to listen, too." At this point, Randy reached over the counter and grabbed the waitress by the blouse and shouted, "Kill the noise or I will kill you."

A scuffle ensued as the patrons in the restaurant rushed to the waitress's defense. As they struggled with Randy he got more upset. He kicked, he bit, he threatened. Someone called the police and they came to arrest Randy. He actually calmed down and told the officers, "So, it's you. Go ahead and take me. You have been after me for years—putting arsenic in my garden plot, taking money out of my bank account. And stealing my brain—don’t think I forgot that. But you will pay for this. The Chief is looking for you."

Randy was arrested and charged with assault and battery on the waitress and the patrons who tried to restrain him—both misdemeanors. Randy spent the night in jail before being brought before a judge the next day. During his night in jail he continuously banged on the bars demanding that the guards turn off the television (the closed-circuit television hung on the wall outside and across from his cell). He threw his metal dinner plate at the television, cursing it and yelling, "Why are you doing this to me? You stole my brain, what else do you want?" When he was taken in front of the judge, the officers reported on his comment at the restaurant and his behavior in jail. The jail superintendent reported that he wanted Randy charged with destruction of jail property (his metal dinner tray dented the side of the television). The judge ordered a psychological evaluation to see if Randy was suffering from a mental disorder of some kind. When the judge asked Randy if he knew what a psychological evaluation was, Randy said, "Sure. They want to get inside my head. But I'm telling you, they won't find anything. My brain is missing and I don't know where I left it."

Personal and Family History

Randy was the middle of three children. His father was an electrician and his mother taught elementary school. His older brother committed suicide at the age of 30—having struggled with depression most of his adult life. His father was never diagnosed with a mental disorder, but he was known for his paranoia and eccentric behaviors. Randy's mother had learned to be quiet and passive in order to appease her volatile husband. They rarely communicated with one another, and when they did it usually ended up in an argument.

Randy was a star high-school student and had a 3.8 GPA his first year in college. He was majoring in history. When a girlfriend broke up with him, his grades started to slip and everything about him seemed to change. He slept a lot, ate mostly junk food, and stopped going to class. He was placed on academic probation. He accused the Dean of being out to "get" him. He even suggested that the Dean took his girlfriend. Eventually Randy was expelled from the college.

He went home to his parents, where he became withdrawn and paranoid. Randy was angry with his father, who mostly ignored him. His mother was afraid of him, especially when he talked to himself and yelled at the television. Once when they were gone for the weekend, Randy pulled the cable box out of the wall and took a hammer to the television set, smashing in the sides. He told his parents that the cable box was taking thoughts from his brain and sending them to the television for all to hear. "My thoughts belong to me, and to no one else. Whoever tries to take them is going to have to pay."

A neighbor of his parents suggested that Randy ought to go to the community mental health clinic. Randy's father forbid it, saying no son of mine is going to a shrink. Shrinks are for "sissies." When the neighbor asked Randy if he wanted to get some help, Randy's response was, "I don't need help. Just turn off the damn TV."

One day, Randy went to the police department and said he wanted to file a criminal complaint.

“Against whom?” the officer on duty asked.

“Against WJTA-TV,” Randy said.

Sensing that Randy was a "bit off," he asked Randy, "What did they do to you?"

"Larceny—grand larceny," Randy said. "They stole my brain and I want it back."

The officer pretended to write up a complaint and told Randy he would give it to his supervisor for approval. That appeased Randy. When he left, the officer laughed and said, "Boy, it takes all kinds."

Shortly after this incident, Randy's aunt died and left him $50,000. Randy bought an old truck, the same one he has now, packed up his clothes and books and took off. He left his parents a note reading, "Thanks for nothing." That was the last they heard from Randy.

DSM-IV Checklist

Schizophrenia

At least two of the following symptoms, each present for a significant portion of time during a one-month period:

  1. Delusions.
  2. Hallucinations.
  3. Disorganized speech.
  4. Grossly disorganized or catatonic behavior.
  5. Negative symptoms.
  1. Functioning markedly below the level achieved prior to onset.
  2. Continuous signs of the disturbance for at leas six months, at least one month of which includes symptoms in full and active form (as opposed to attenuated form).

Based on APA, 2000, 1994

EVALUATION

Objective #1 Demonstrate appropriate use of abnormal human behavior concepts, guided by the criteria of distress, deviance, dysfunction, danger.

Question:

 Describe Randy’s case in terms of

  1. distress
  2. deviance
  3. dysfunction and
  4. danger

 SYNTHESIS

Objective #4 Understand the historical and cultural context of psychopathology.

Objective # 5 Critically examine the contextual influences on the theories and treatments of psychopathology.

Question:

 1.  If Randy were still living in a Sacramento suburb, what do you think might have been different in the way his situation was perceived and

2.  how might this change the outcome?

 3.  If Randy were living in the late 1880’s, how would he be diagnosed by the community and

4.  treated?

 ANALYSIS

Objective #2   Differentiate and evaluate theories and treatments of psychopathology.

Question:

1.  What genetic factors may have played a part in Randy’s schizophrenia?

2.  What biochemical abnormalities might account for Randy’s symptoms?

 3.  What might have been the role of family stress in Randy’s disorder?

4.  What does the sociocultural view of schizophrenia contribute to our understanding of Randy’s case?

5.   What medication would be most helpful for Randy?  Discuss why you chose this particular medication?

6.  What treatment modalities would be helpful to Randy in addition to medication?

APPLICATION

Objective #3 Display the responsible use of the DSM-IV, (and not to present themselves as professional users of it).

Questions:

 1.  Does Randy meet the criteria for schizophrenia?  If so, identify each of symptoms and/or behaviors that satisfy the symptom criteria for schizophrenia.

 2.  What type of schizophrenia does Randy display and what behavior supports your reason for selecting this?

Link to Class Rubric

Class Assessment:

  1. Core Assessment: Case Study - Directions: Read the Case Study about Randy.  After reading the case study, please answer the questions that are listed at the end of the case study.  Please list the category of the question(e.g., Evaluation, Synthesis, etc.),and number each question according to the numbers in the category listing.  
  2. Mid-term and Final Exams: Students will complete two examinations.
  3. In-class assignments: These will be designed to provide you with the opportunity to work in groups and apply the concepts we are learning about.  An example is the use of case studies to understand a theoretical approach.
  4. Out-of-class assignments: Throughout the term you will be asked to complete short written exercises that will help you learn the concepts and prepare for the exams. Assignments must be typed or handwritten and turned in the night they are due.
  5. Modules: You must complete 2 modules.  Any additional modules completed will be worth 2 points that will be added onto your mid-term or final exam point total (not percentage).

Grading:

  • Case Study= 20%
  • Midterm and Final Examination = 55%
  • In-class Assignments = 10%
  • Out-of-class Assignments = 10%
  • Modules = 5%

    Final course grading scale: 90-100 = A, 80-89 = B, 70-79 = C, 60-69 = D, 59 and below = F

  • Late Submission of Course Materials:
    If an assignment is due on a night that the student is not present, it is the student's responsibility to get the assignment to the instructor on the due date. Five points will be deducted each day an assignment is late. Assignments will not be accepted after three days past the due date without prior approval from the instructor.

    Classroom Rules of Conduct:

    • Class participation is expected and will form a part of the final grade.
    • Students are expected to attend all classes and be on time.
    • Students are required to read all material assigned prior to class and apply the material during class discussions, activities, and exercises.
    • The student is responsible for providing the instructor with justification for an excused absence, either prior to or immediately after the absence.
    • Computers are now an integral part of our educational experience; you will be required to have access to the Internet on a regular basis.
    • Students are required to use their Park email address.
    • Students are required to use ecompanion at www.parkonline.org; announcements and assignments, etc. will be posted here.
    • Students must be responsible for planning ahead and meeting deadlines.
    • Students will conduct themselves in a professional manner at all times.
    • Students are expected to respect other students' opinions and values, even if they disagree with those opinions and values.
    • There should only be one person talking at a time. Side bar conversations will not be tolerated.

    Course Topic/Dates/Assignments:

     
    Class Meeting         Chapters                            Activities            Exams & Assignments      Modules

    Meeting 1 -20 March

    1 - Introduction and History of Abnormal Psychology; and
    2 - Research in Abnormal Psychology
    Lecture    N/A    N/A

    Meeting 2

    27 March

    3 - Models of Abnormality; and
    4 - Assessment
    Lecture & group assignment Assignment 1 Due: Chapters 3 & 4 Module 1 - Topic TBA

    Meeting 3

    3 April

    5 – Anxiety Disorders; and
    6 - Stress Disorders
    Lecture & group assignment Assignment 2 Due: Chapters 5 & 6 Module 2 - Topic TBA

    Meeting 4

    10 April

    7 - Somatoform and Dissociative Disorders Lecture & group assignment Assignment 3 Due: Chapters 7 Module 3 - Topic TBA

    Meeting 5

    17 April

    8 - Mood Disorders; and
    9 - Treatment of Mood Disorders
    Lecture & group assignment  

    Midterm Exam;

    Assignment 4 Due: Chapters 8 & 9
    Module 4 - Topic TBA

    Meeting 6

    24 April

    14 - Schizophrenia; and
    15 - Treatments for Schizophrenia
    Lecture & group assignment Assignment 5 Due: Chapters 14 & 15 Module 5 - Topic TBA

    Meeting 7

    1 May

    10 – Suicide; and
    11- Eating Disorders; and
    12 – Substance Disorders
    Lecture & group assignment Assignment 6 Due: Chapters 10, 11 & 12 Module 6 - Topic TBA

    Meeting 8

    8 May

      13 – Sexual Disorders and Gender Identity Disorder;

    16 - Personality Disorders

    Lecture & group assignment Core Assessment Due Module 7 - Topic TBA

    Meeting 9

    15 May

     
    Final Exam

    Academic Honesty:
    Academic integrity is the foundation of the academic community. Because each student has the primary responsibility for being academically honest, students are advised to read and understand all sections of this policy relating to standards of conduct and academic life.   Park University 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85-86

    Plagiarism:
    Plagiarism involves the use of quotations without quotation marks, the use of quotations without indication of the source, the use of another's idea without acknowledging the source, the submission of a paper, laboratory report, project, or class assignment (any portion of such) prepared by another person, or incorrect paraphrasing. Park University 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 85

    Attendance Policy:
    Instructors are required to maintain attendance records and to report absences via the online attendance reporting system.

    1. The instructor may excuse absences for valid reasons, but missed work must be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
    2. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment.
    3. Work missed through unexcused absences must also be made up within the semester/term of enrollment, but unexcused absences may carry further penalties.
    4. In the event of two consecutive weeks of unexcused absences in a semester/term of enrollment, the student will be administratively withdrawn, resulting in a grade of "F".
    5. A "Contract for Incomplete" will not be issued to a student who has unexcused or excessive absences recorded for a course.
    6. Students receiving Military Tuition Assistance or Veterans Administration educational benefits must not exceed three unexcused absences in the semester/term of enrollment. Excessive absences will be reported to the appropriate agency and may result in a monetary penalty to the student.
    7. Report of a "F" grade (attendance or academic) resulting from excessive absence for those students who are receiving financial assistance from agencies not mentioned in item 5 above will be reported to the appropriate agency.

    Park University 2007-2008 Undergraduate Catalog Page 87-88

    Disability Guidelines:
    Park University is committed to meeting the needs of all students that meet the criteria for special assistance. These guidelines are designed to supply directions to students concerning the information necessary to accomplish this goal. It is Park University's policy to comply fully with federal and state law, including Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, regarding students with disabilities. In the case of any inconsistency between these guidelines and federal and/or state law, the provisions of the law will apply. Additional information concerning Park University's policies and procedures related to disability can be found on the Park University web page: http://www.park.edu/disability .



    Rubric

    CompetencyExceeds Expectation (3)Meets Expectation (2)Does Not Meet Expectation (1)No Evidence (0)
    Evaluation                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
    Outcomes
    Outcome #1.Critical evaluation of the case study using the abnormal human behavior concepts of the 4Ds—Distress, Deviance, Dysfunction and Danger                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                    
    1. Answers to questions must identify examples from the case study of ALL FOUR of the following areas: 1.Distress 2.Deviance 3.Dysfunction 4.Danger 1. Answers to questions must identify examples from the case study of THREE  of the following areas: 1.Distress 2.Deviance 3.Dysfunction 4.Danger 1. Answers to questions must identify examples from the case study of TWO of the following areas: 1.Distress 2.Deviance 3.Dysfunction 4.Danger 1. Answers to questions identifies only ONE example or less of the following areas: 1.Distress 2.Deviance 3.Dysfunction 4.Danger 
    Synthesis                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
    Outcomes
    Outcome #4 & #5.Formulate the historical and cultural contexts and influences related to perceptions, outcome changes, diagnosis and treatment of the symptoms described in the case study                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
    Answers to questions need to cover ALL of the following areas: 1.Suburb perception: 2.Suburb outcome change: 1880s diagnosis: must reference some terminology appropriate to the period of time 3.1880s treatment: must reference at least 2 types of treatments appropriate to the period of time Answers to questions need to cover THREE-FOUR of the following areas: 1.Suburb perception: 2.Suburb outcome change: 1880s diagnosis: must reference some terminology appropriate to the period of time 3.1880s treatment: must reference at least 2 types of treatments appropriate to the period of time





     
    Answers to questions need to cover TWO of the following areas: 1.Suburb perception: 2.Suburb outcome change: 1880s diagnosis: must reference some terminology appropriate to the period of time 3.1880s treatment: must reference at least 2 types of treatments appropriate to the period of time



     
    Answers to questions need to cover ONE OR LESS of the following areas: 1.Suburb perception: 2.Suburb outcome change: 1880s diagnosis: must reference some terminology appropriate to the period of time 3.1880s treatment: must reference at least 2 types of treatments appropriate to the period of time



     
    Analysis                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
    Outcomes
    Outcome # 2 Differentiate the theories and treatments of psychopathology that explain the disorder described in the case study                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
    1. Answers to questions need to cover ALL SIX of the following areas: 1.Genetic Factors: must mention specific genetic factors 2.Biochemical Abnormalities: must mention specific biochemical abnormalities 3.Family Stress:  Must include specific family stressors 4.Sociocultural Contribution:  Must mention specific Sociocultural contributions. 5.Medication:  Must mention specific medication (most appropriate considering research findings) 6.Treatment Modalities:  Must mention types of therapy (not medication) appropriate to the client's needs Answers to questions need to cover FOUR-FIVE of the following areas: 1.Genetic Factors: must mention specific genetic factors 2.Biochemical Abnormalities: must mention specific biochemical abnormalities 3.Family Stress:  Must include specific family stressors 4.Sociocultural Contribution:  Must mention specific Sociocultural contributions. 5.Medication:  Must mention specific medication (most appropriate considering research findings) 6.Treatment Modalities:  Must mention types of therapy (not medication) appropriate to the client's needs



     
    1. Answers to questions need to cover THREE of the following areas: 1.Genetic Factors: must mention specific genetic factors 2.Biochemical Abnormalities: must mention specific biochemical abnormalities 3.Family Stress:  Must include specific family stressors 4.Sociocultural Contribution:  Must mention specific Sociocultural contributions. 5.Medication:  Must mention specific medication (most appropriate considering research findings) 6.Treatment Modalities:  Must mention types of therapy (not medication) appropriate to the client's needs Answers to questions need to cover TWO OR LESS of the following areas: 1.Genetic Factors: must mention specific genetic factors 2.Biochemical Abnormalities: must mention specific biochemical abnormalities  3.Family Stress:  Must include specific family stressors 4.Sociocultural Contribution:  Must mention specific Sociocultural contributions. 5.Medication:  Must mention specific medication (most appropriate considering research findings) 6.Treatment Modalities:  Must mention types of therapy (not medication) appropriate to the client's needs



     
    Application                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                
    Outcomes
    Outcomes # 3-Classify the case study disorder's criteria of behaviors, level of functioning and continuity, the specific type of disorder and the behaviors of the disorder described in case study                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  
    Answers to questions need to cover ALL FIVE of the following areas:1.Criteria I of disorder: behaviors: 2.Criteria II of disorder: level of functioning: 3. Criteria III of disorder: Continuity 4.Specific type of disorder: 5.Specific behaviors related to disorder: Answers to questions need to cover FOUR of the following areas: 1.Criteria I of disorder: behaviors: 2.Criteria II of disorder: level of functioning: 3.Criteria III of disorder: Continuity 4.Specific type of disorder: 5.Specific behaviors related to disorder: 1. Answers to questions need to cover THREE of the following areas: 1.Criteria I of disorder: behaviors: 2.Criteria II of disorder: level of functioning: 3. Criteria III of disorder: Continuity 4.Specific type of disorder:5.Specific behaviors related to disorder: 1. Answers to questions need to cover TWO OR LESS of the following areas: 1. Criteria I of disorder: behaviors: 2.Criteria II of disorder: level of functioning: 3.Criteria III of disorder: Continuity 4.Specific type of disorder: 5.Specific behaviors related to disorder: 
    Content of Communication                                                                                                                                                                                                                                   
    Outcomes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
    Answers to questions were organized, focused and statements were effectively supported Answers to questions were organized, focus may not be clear at times and support for statements was minimal Answers were minimally organized, focus was frequently difficult to determine and statements were inconsistently supported Answers were challenging to read due to disorganization, lack of focus and statements were not supported 
    Technical Skill in Communication                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
    Outcomes
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
    Proofreading was effective and there were few, if any grammatical and/or structural errors and the errors were not distracting for the reader More effective proofreading was needed with more grammatical and/or structural errors which was somewhat distracting for the reader Proofreading was inconsistent and grammatical and/or structural errors were so numerous that the reader was seriously distracted Proofreading was not effective and grammatical and/or structural errors were so frequent that it was too challenging to read 

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    Last Updated:2/24/2008 6:53:28 PM