This Abnormal Psychology course examines definitions of mental health and mental illness within and across cultural contexts. This course provides an overview and evaluation of historical and contemporary diagnostic systems, emphasizing the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) and the International Classification of Diseases (ICD). Students will learn about how mental health professionals assess, diagnose, and treat psychological and behavioral disorders, including anxiety disorders, mood disorders, psychosis, and many others. The course examines research on the biological, psychological, cultural, and social factors that relate to “abnormal” behavior, cognition, and emotion. The class will also explore the ways in which age, gender, socioeconomic status, personality, and intelligence relate to risk, assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and prognosis. Research will be presented on the prevalence and consequences of mental illness in many areas of the world by examining global data from the World Health Organization and other sources. Lastly, this course will explore the similarities and variations across issues related to mental health and illness in the Americas, Africa, and Europe.
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