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Abnormal Psychology Major Assignment

Abnormal Psychology Major Assignment


Each student will be required to prepare a written case study on a person, real or fictitious, who suffers from one or more of the diagnoses presented in the text and/or DSM.  If a real person is used, care must be taken to avoid disclosing any identifying details or circumstances which would violate that person’s privacy.  A real individual’s situation or characteristics can be used as a base around which additional, fictional details are woven, or you may choose to develop an entirely fabricated patient through whom you illustrate the typical or stereotyped characteristics of the disorder you are describing.  The goals of the paper are:

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  1. Demonstration of knowledge and understanding on the symptoms, treatment and prognosis of a particular disorder, and
  2. Demonstration of understanding of the interaction of bio-psycho-social factors in the presentation, and treatment of psychological disorders.

The report must be at least four (4) pages in length, not counting references or any title page.  The paper should be typed, double-spaced, in no larger than 12 point type with one (1) inch margins.  In addition to any citations of the course textbook your paper should make use of and cite at least three other sources, at least one of which must be a professional journal or professional book.  When presenting ideas or direct quotations from your sources, be sure to properly credit and reference your source Abnormal Psychology Major Assignment .


The report should include the following information:

  • The person’s current and past symptoms that characterized the disorder.
  • The person’s relevant history: personal, medical, educational, family, etc.  Give particular attention to possible events or circumstances which may have contributed to the disorder.
  • The diagnosis you feel is warranted and the bases/reasons you feel it applies.
  • Possible alternative or related diagnoses which could be suggested by the person’s symptoms, and the reasons you believe those diagnoses do not apply.
  • Possible co-existing mental disorders and complicating conditions or factors (e.g., related medical conditions, family circumstances, etc.).
  • Your explanation of how this person came to suffer this mental disorder: in effect, your theory or understanding of how mental illness happens.  What are the relevant etiologic factors (biomedical, psychological, social and systemic) that you feel are involved for this particular person?  How do these various factors interact, and what do you feel is the relative importance or contribution of each?  Support your explanation by reference to the theories and research in our text and other resources.
  • Options for treating this individual, with a discussion of why you think the treatment you propose is the best option for this case.
  • The likely prognosis for the individual’s recovery, future functioning, and potential for relapse Abnormal Psychology Major Assignment

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