Abnormal Psychology* [CRN 81213]

Discipline: Psychology
Instructor: Lynch
Credits: 3
Day: B
Start: 1240
End: 1400
Field Work: Day 2 | October 16, 2019 | Morocco
Prerequisites: One (1) general psychology course Download Syllabus

This abnormal psychology course provides an introduction to major mental disorders as classified in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, 5th Edition (DSM-5). Disorders include neurodevelopmental, depressive, anxiety, stressor-related, addictive, eating, psychotic, impulse-control, bipolar, personality, obsessive-compulsive, and more. For each disorder, we will explore research regarding its diagnosis, causes, and treatments, and discuss how biological factors, such as sex, age, and genetics, interact with sociocultural factors, such as gender, ethnicity, and social stigma, influence their development and treatment. Considering our international context, we will also discuss broader cultural issues that shape views, public policy, and the treatment of mental disorders, including the advantages and disadvantages for the use of DSM-V as a means to diagnose mental disorders across cultures versus the use of other approaches, such as the International Classification of Diseases (ICD).


*Note: This class is delivered when lunch is served.

Field Work

Country: Morocco
Day: 2
Date: October 16, 2019

Rates of mental illness are very high in Morocco, and there is a lack of infrastructure to meet the high demand for mental health care. In this field class, students will learn about the history of diagnosis and treatment of mental health in Morocco and factors that contribute to the high rates of mental health issues. In preparation for the field class, students will prepare a list of potential questions that may be used to help guide discussions with mental health care officials and workers during the field class. Students will then visit a psychiatric hospital in Morocco and/or a government mental health office where they will have the opportunity to interact with mental health care official, administrators, and workers, and if possible and appropriate, with patients and/or caretakers/family members.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Observe first-hand how cultural factors influence the diagnosis and treatment of mental health.
  2. Learn about mental health service providers and the main types of treatments provided in Morocco.
  3. If possible and appropriate, interact with patients and/or family member and observe firsthand how individuals with mental health disorders in Morocco live – activities they engage in, problems they encounter, and societal expectations for them.
  4. Connect theories of mental health disorders to real world situations.