Abnormal Psychology: The Problem of Maladaptive Behavior

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9780130918499: Abnormal Psychology: The Problem of Maladaptive Behavior

For introductory undergraduate courses in Abnormal Psychology, Abnormal Behavior, and Psychopathology.

This classic textbook builds on the strengths of existing theoretical systems and clinical methods to provide students with a comprehensive and up-to-date real-world overview of the field of abnormal psychology. It focuses on maladaptive behavior as a product of the interaction between personal vulnerabilities and resiliencies.

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About the Author:

Irwin and Barbara Sarason are deeply interested in the multiple causes of maladaptive behavior and how it can be effectively treated. They are perhaps best known for their work on the role of social support as a modifier of stress and a promoter of mental health and adaptive coping. The questions of individual vulnerability and resilience and how adaptation can be encouraged have been of particular interest to them. A current focus of their research is how relationships with family and friends can be protective and aid individuals in coping with daily stresses and strains as well as helping to promote overall psychological adjustment. The topic of social support in general, and as a function of specific relationships, has implications for understanding individual development, abnormal behavior, health status, and the factors within the psychotherapeutic relationship that contribute to positive clinical outcomes. The Sarasons believe that a major, ingredient of psychotherapy is the therapist's communication of acceptance and positive evaluation of the patient. Beyond the psychotherapeutic relationship, their work suggests that even vulnerable people who feel that they are accepted and valued by others are more likely to cope well with stress and are less likely to develop maladaptive symptoms. In addition, their work focuses attention on prevention and ways in which communities can become more supportive places to live.

The effects of ethnic and cultural differences on expectations of oneself and others have been an important recent research focus of the Sarasons. They see the need for mental health professionals to develop increased understanding and respect for cultural differences. The stresses of the immigrant experience, the impact of being a member of a minority in our society, and the intergenerational conflicts associated with such status may enhance vulnerability but also allow a focus on individual resilience and moderator effects.

Irwin Sarason received his B.A. degree from Rutgers University and Barbara Sarason received her B.A. degree from Depauw University. They first met while graduate students at the University of Iowa. Each has a Ph.D. degree with a specialization in clinical psychology from Indiana University. After completing their clinical internships in West Haven, Connecticut, they moved to Seattle. Irwin Sarason is currently professor and Barbara Sarason is research professor in the Psychology Department at the University of Washington.

The Sarasons have published over 300 articles and many books on such topics as anxiety, stress and coping, personality research, social support, and techniques for facilitating behavioral change. They have each lectured extensively in the United States, Japan, and throughout Europe.

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