BEHV 3002 Abnormal Psychology

Credit Points 10

Legacy Code 101681

Coordinator Kiley Seymour Opens in new window

Description Abnormal Psychology is the study of behaviours that cause distress or dysfunction or are judged as deviant within the individual's culture. This unit examines definitions of abnormality, ways of assessing and diagnosing abnormality, theories of the causation of psychological abnormality and treatments for recognized psychological disorders. Diagnostic criteria from the latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders are applied to illustrative cases with emphasis on contemporary Australian research and theory. The development of integrated models of abnormality, including biological, psychological and social factors, is a significant theme of the unit.

School Psychology

Student Contribution Band HECS Band 4 10cp

Check your HECS Band contribution amount via the Fees page.

Level Undergraduate Level 3 subject

Pre-requisite(s) BEHV 1016 AND
BEHV 1018

Equivalent Subjects BEHV 3001 - Abnormal Behaviour and Psychological Testing

Incompatible Subjects BEHV 3003 - Abnormal Psychology (online)

Assumed Knowledge

A basic understanding of core concepts of personality, social and developmental psychology.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this subject, students should be able to:
  1. Demonstrate knowledge of contemporary theories of abnormality within the major paradigms, and examine relationships between causal theory, diagnostic criteria and approaches to the treatment of abnormal behaviour.
  2. Analyse theories of abnormal psychology in cultural contexts.
  3. Apply diagnostic criteria to case material and research methodologies to understand the aetiology, course, and treatment of abnormality.
  4. Demonstrate skills in the critical evaluation of empirical reports and case studies through literature searches and assessment tasks.
  5. Demonstrate skills in communicating findings from research and case presentations, including interprofessional perspectives.

Subject Content

1. Definitions, history and scope of abnormal psychology; psychodynamic, cognitive-behavioural, existential-humanistic and systems approaches to causation and treatment of abnormality;
2. Goals and ethics of counselling/therapy; the clinical assessment interview; diagnostic classification systems; a detailed analysis of DSM-5;
3. The impact of culture, gender and developmental stage on diagnosis and treatment; a bio-psycho-social model;
4. Stress, trauma and coping: vulnerability and reactions to stress across the lifespan; psychological factors affecting physical health, psychophysiological and somatic symptom disorders; adjustment disorders; dissociative disorders;
5. Anxiety disorders: diagnosis, aetiology and treatment from an integrated bio-psycho-social perspective;
6. Developmental and Cognitive disorders: with emphasis on pervasive developmental disorders and cognitive disorders of adulthood;
7. Eating disorders
8. Substance use disorders;
9. Psychotic disorders
10. Mood disorders: major depressive disorder; bipolar disorder; the depression-suicide link;
11. Sexual variations and disorders: the continuum of human sexuality and problems of identifying and treating sexual disorders;
12. Personality disorders: definitional problems and classification; Borderline personality disorder;

Assessment

The following table summarises the standard assessment tasks for this subject. Please note this is a guide only. Assessment tasks are regularly updated, where there is a difference your Learning Guide takes precedence.

Item Length Percent Threshold Individual/Group Task
Case study 2000 words 40 N Individual
Reflection 600 words 30 N Individual
Final Exam 1.5 hours 30 N Individual

Prescribed Texts

  • There is no hardcopy prescribed text for this subject. However, an electronic ebook is available to purchase at a reduced rate to students, details are on the vUWS site. This ebook is adapted from Rieger, E. (2017). Abnormal psychology: leading researcher perspectives (4th ed.). North Ryde, Australia: McGraw-Hill education.
  • There is no hardcopy prescribed text for this subject. However, an electronic ebook is available to purchase at a reduced rate to students, details are on the vUWS site.This ebook is adapted from Rieger, E. (2017). Abnormal psychology: leading researcher perspectives (4th ed.). North Ryde, Australia: McGraw-Hill education

Teaching Periods

2021-2022 Summer

Bankstown (Summer A)

Day

Subject Contact Kiley Seymour Opens in new window

Attendance Requirements 80% attendance rate is imposed in all core subjects’ due to the nature of class activities that are aligned with subject assessments.

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2022 Trimester 1

Wsu Online

Online

Subject Contact Rosalind Priestman Opens in new window

Attendance Requirements 80% attendance rate is imposed in all core subjects’ due to the nature of class activities that are aligned with subject assessments.

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2022 Semester 2

Bankstown

Day

Subject Contact Kiley Seymour Opens in new window

Attendance Requirements 80% attendance rate is imposed in all core subjects’ due to the nature of class activities that are aligned with subject assessments.

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Penrith (Kingswood)

Day

Subject Contact Kiley Seymour Opens in new window

Attendance Requirements 80% attendance rate is imposed in all core subjects’ due to the nature of class activities that are aligned with subject assessments.

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Parramatta - Victoria Rd

Day

Subject Contact Kiley Seymour Opens in new window

Attendance Requirements 80% attendance rate is imposed in all core subjects’ due to the nature of class activities that are aligned with subject assessments.

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2022 Trimester 3

Wsu Online

Online

Subject Contact Rosalind Priestman Opens in new window

Attendance Requirements 80% attendance rate is imposed in all core subjects’ due to the nature of class activities that are aligned with subject assessments.

View timetable Opens in new window