I. Models of Abnormality: Changing Conceptions of Mental Disorders
What are mental disorders?
Disturbances of an individual's behavioral or psychological functioning that are not culturally expected and that lead to psychological distress, behavioral disability, or impaired overall functioning.
To what factors were such disorders attributed in the past?
At different times in the past, psychological disorders were attributed to supernatural causes (e.g., evil spirits) or natural causes (e.g., injuries to the brain).
What is the modern perspective on such disorders?
The modern psychological view suggests that mental disorders involve biological, psychological, and sociocultural factors as well as the joint effects of individual vulnerabilities (diatheses) and stressors.
Review of Key Terms
Check your knowledge of some key terms and concepts from this section.