Abnormal Psychology, Fourth Edition

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9780130488909: Abnormal Psychology, Fourth Edition

This new edition retains the book's engaging and innovative systems approach, integrating the biological, psychological, and social perspectives in one concurrent story. Scientific methods are presented in a clear and non-threatening manner, and are based on the most current research. Chapter topics include personality disorders, eating disorders, substance use disorders, sexual and gender identity disorders, schizophrenic disorders, mood disorders and suicide, treatment of psychological disorders, and more. For psychologists, psychiatrists, and professionals in the mental health field.

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About the Author:

Thomas F. Oltmanns is Professor of Psychology and Psychiatric Medicine at the University of Virginia, where he is also Director of Clinical Training. He received his B.A. from the University of Wisconsin and his Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. He was a member of the faculty in the Department of Psychology at Indiana University from 1976 to 1986 before moving to Virginia. He served as Associate Editor of the Journal of Abnormal Psychology and as a member of several research review committees for the National Institutes of Health. He was elected president of the Society for a Science of Clinical Psychology in 1993 and has received the "Outstanding Professor Award" from the undergraduate psychology majors at UVa (in 1997 and 2002). He has written extensively about the role of cognitive and emotional factors in mental disorders such as schizophrenia and obsessive-compulsive disorder. His current research on the assessment of personality disorders is funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH). His previous books include Schizophrenia (1980) , written with John Neale; Delusional Beliefs (1988), edited with Brendan Maher; and Case Studies in Abnormal Psychology (sixth edition, 2004), written with John Neale and Gerald Davison. Robert E. Emery is Professor of Psychology and former Director of Clinical Training at the University of Virginia. He also is Director of the Center for Children, Families, and the Law and an associate faculty member of the Institute of Law, Psychiatry, and Public Policy at the university. He received a B.A. from Brown University in 1974 and a Ph.D. from SUNY at Stony Brook in 1982. He is on the editorial boards of eight journals and is a member of the Population and Social Sciences study section of NIH. His research focuses on family conflict, children's mental health, and associated legal issues. His 1982 Psychological Bulletin, paper was designated a "Citation Classic" by the Institute for Scientific Information, and a later Child Development paper received the Outstanding Research Publication Award from the American Association for Marriage and Family Therapy in 1989. In 2002, he received The Distinguished Re search Award from the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts. He is the author of over 75 to 100 scientific articles and book chapters and two monographs: Marriage, Divorce, and Children's Adjustment (1988; 2nd ed., 1998, Sage Publications) and Renegotiating Family Relationships: Divorce, Child Custody, and Mediation (1994, Guilford Press).

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Abnormal psychology is not about "them." Abnormal psychology is about all of us. Emotional suffering touches all of our lives at some point in time. Psychological problems are prevalent and affect many of us directly and all of us indirectly—through our loved ones, friends, and the strangers whose troubled behavior we cannot ignore.

Integrated and Consistent Coverage and DSM-IV-TR

Integration always has been the overriding theme of our textbook. Rather than see abnormal psychology as fractured by competition among paradigms, split between psychology and psychiatry, or divided between scientists and practitioners, we see the most exciting and promising future for abnormal psychology in the integration of theoretical approaches, professional specialties, and science and practice.

We present abnormal psychology as a cohesive field, even with all its variations. Each disorder chapter unfolds in the same way, providing a coherent framework and consistent outline. We open with an Overview followed by one or two extended Case Studies. We then discuss Typical Symptoms and Associated Features, Classification, Epidemiology, Etiological Considerations and Research, and finally, Treatment. Each chapter reflects DSM-IV TR throughout.

Embedded in this consistent structure are several features designed to help make the human aspects of mental disorders clearer to readers: Our cases and first person accounts, and a new feature, Getting Help.

New Feature: Getting Help

In the new Getting Help sections included in every chapter of this edition, we address students' personal concerns most directly. We added this feature to begin to answer the sorts of questions that students have asked us privately after lecture or later in our offices. These sections also encourage students to think critically about the psychological information they may encounter on the Web and in self-help section of their bookstore. The Getting Help sections give responsible, empirically sound, and concrete guidance on such personal topics as:

  • What treatments are likely to be most effective for particular disorders? (See Chapters 2, 6, 10, and 12)
  • What can I do to help someone else? (See Chapters 5, 9, 10, and 16)
  • How can I find the right therapist? (See Chapters 3, 5, and 12)
  • Where can I get more reliable information from books, the Internet, or professionals in my community? (See Chapters 1, 5, 7, and 11)
  • What self-help strategies can I try? (See Chapters 6, 11, and 12)

Students can also find research-based information on the effectiveness and efficacy of various treatments in Chapter 3, Treatment of Psychological Disorders, and in the Treatment headings near the end of every disorder chapter.

The Latest Science

We do not have simple answers to many pressing personal and intellectual questions. Many of our answers are complicated and equivocal. Others are simply incomplete. Such is the state of abnormal psychology at the beginning of the twenty-first century.

But far worse than offering incomplete answers would be to take the route of those well-intentioned experts, and some unscrupulous ones, who are ready to give "definitive" answers to questions that, in reality, cannot be answered definitively. Sometimes these "experts"' answers are wrong or clearly selfservihg. We are candid when the truthful answer is, "Honestly, we do not yet know."

The unanswered questions of abnormal psychology present intriguing and pressing puzzles. These unsolved mysteries challenge all of our intellectual and personal resources as scientific detectives. We include the latest scientific findings throughout this text, including references to hundreds of new scientific studies in this fourth edition. But the measure of a leading edge textbook is not merely the number of new references. It is the number of new studies the authors have reviewed and evaluated before deciding what to include and what to discard. For every new reference in this edition of our text, we have read many additional papers before selecting the one gem to include.

At least as important as including the latest and the best research, we also point to the most promising leads for finding more and better answers in the not-too-distant future. We are seasoned and active investigators, as well as authors. Our research—and this text—are fueled by the suffering of people with emotional conflicts and mental illnesses, and by the intellectual challenges we face in trying to answer some of the very complicated questions posed by abnormal psychology.

Research Methods: How Psychological Detective Work Is Done

We report on the latest scientific findings, and we also explain in detail how psychological scientists do their detective work. Unlike any other text in this field, however, we do not cover research methods in a single chapter. We do this because many of our students have told us that the typical research methods chapter seems dry, difficult, and—to our great disappointment—irrelevant. Students understand the enormous need for new knowledge in this field, but they find the one-shot chapter on research methods to be detached from the substance of abnormal psychology.

Our solution to these problems is to offer brief Research Methods inserts in every single chapter. This approach makes the text flexible, and it makes learning research methods more manageable, more focused, and more relevant by connecting them to the chapter content. By the end of the text, this approach also allows us to cover research methods in more detail than we could reasonably cover in a single, detached chapter.

Research Close-Ups

In addition to these discussions of research methods, we also offer Research Close-Ups, sections devoted to a detailed review of a particular study that has proved important in advancing our knowledge in a given area. These sections help make concrete not only the findings of the study, but also its process. For example, in Chapter 8 we discuss James Pennebaker, Janice Kiecolt-Glaser, and Ronald Glaser's study of the effect of disclosure on the immune system.

Often, the Research Methods and Research Close-up features work together. For example, in Chapter 17, the Research Methods discussion is on heritability, while the Research Close-up focuses on research studies examining the gene-environment correlation and the possible heritability of divorce.

Further Thoughts

Sometimes a study or problem suggests a departure from current thinking or raises issues that deserve to be examined. Our Further Thoughts sections cover these sorts of emerging ideas, such as evidence suggesting that, rather than employing the fight or flight response to threat, females appear to choose a "tend and befriend" approach (Chapter 8), or possible ways of classifying rapists, even though this type of abnormal behavior is not included in the official diagnostic manual (Chapter 12), or new ways of thinking about the close connection between depression and anxiety (Chapter 6).

Case Studies

Abnormal psychology is, of course, about real people; people like us. The many case studies we present help readers keep this in mind. Detailed Case Studies appear near the beginning of every chapter so that the symptoms and etiological issues are presented in the context of real lives and in their genuine complexity. In the extended opening cases, briefer cases, and first-person accounts throughout the chapters, readers see how ordinary lives are disrupted and how treatment proceeds in fits and starts.

Most of the cases are our own. Throughout our careers, we both have been active clinicians as well as active researchers. In fact, being a therapist is a lot like being a scientist. As therapists, we develop hypotheses and test them as we work to help individual clients to change. When we gain support for a hypothesis with one client, we wonder if the observation applies to others. Was the cause of this problem unique to this client, or have we discovered a general principle? Did our successful attempt to vary a proven treatment work only for this one client, or are we on to something bigger? Can we prove our clinical hunches to the world in an objective, scientific manner?

The Case Studies help take the reader along on this journey of pain, triumph, frustration, and fresh starts, and are designed to help students to think more deeply about psychological disorders, much as our own clinical experience enriches our understanding.

Paradigms and Systems: The Blind Men and the Elephant

For much of the last century abnormal psychology was dominated by theoretical paradigms, and the belief that someday one single paradigm would triumph and provide all answers to all questions while all other paradigms collapsed into dust.

This circumstance reminds us of the parable of the seven blind men and the elephant. One blind man grasps a tusk and concludes that an elephant is very much like a spear. Another feels a knee and decides an elephant is like a tree, and so on. Our goal from the first edition of Abnormal Psychology has been to show the reader the whole elephant. We do this through our unique integrative systems approach, in which we focus on what we know rather than what we used to think.

In every chapter, we consider how biological, psychological, and social factors work together to produce ...

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Thomas F. Oltmanns, Robert E. Emery
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Thomas F. Oltmanns; Robert E. Emery
Published by Prentice Hall (2003)
ISBN 10: 0130488909 ISBN 13: 9780130488909
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