This course provides an examination of the various psychological disorders, as well as theoretical, clinical, and experimental perspectives of the study of psychopathology. Emphasis is placed on terminology, classification, etiology, assessment, and treatment of the major disorders. Upon completion, students should be able to distinguish between normal and abnormal behavior patterns as well as demonstrate knowledge of etiology, symptoms, and therapeutic techniques.

Prerequisites: PSY 150 must pass with a grade of "C" or higher.

Corequisites: None.

Class Hours: 3        Lab Hours: 0        Clinical/Work Exp.: 0        Credit Hours: 3


  • Explain the criteria used to define abnormal behavior.

  • Discuss the relationships between cultural belief, norms, and the labeling of behavior as normal or abnormal.

  • Recount the history of beliefs about disturbed behavior and the treatment of people deemed “mad” or mentally ill.

  • Discuss the following contemporary perspectives on abnormal behavior: biological, psychodynamic, learning-based, humanistic, cognitive, and sociocultural.

  • Explain how experimenters control for subjects’ and researchers’ expectation and discuss the steps involved in the scientific method used for conducting research.

  • Discuss the various methods used to study abnormal behavior, including the naturalistic observation method, the correlational method, the experimental method, kinship studies, the epidemiological method, and the case-study method.

  • Differentiate among the Biological, Psychological, Sociocultural, and Biopsychosocial perspectives as they relate to treatment.

  • Discuss historical origins of modern diagnostic systems and the development of the DSM system, describing its features.

  • Describe the features of the various tests used in psychological evaluation and demonstrate the reliability and validity of these various methods of assessment.

  • Describe the different types of helping professional and the basic features of psychotherapy.

  • Compare and contrast traditional psychoanalysis with modern psychodynamic approaches.

  • Discuss the various drug therapies as well as other biomedical treatments including electro convulsive therapy, and psychosurgery.

  • Describe the contemporary roles of community mental health centers and mental hospitals and the problems of the psychiatric homeless population.

  • Describe the features of Adjustment Disorders.

  • Explain the connection between psychological factors and physical disorders including headaches, cardiovascular disease, asthma, cancer, and AIDS.

  • Define anxiety generally and understand its historical connection with the term neurosis.

  • Define and describe the various forms of anxiety, i.e. generalized anxiety disorder, phobias, OCD, and PTSD.

  • Describe the various treatment approaches for anxiety disorders.

  • Describe the major features of the dissociative disorders including dissociative identity disorder, dissociative amnesia, dissociative fugue, and depersonalization.

  • Differentiate between malingering and factitious disorder and describe the symptoms of Munchausen syndrome.

  • Describe the features of somatoform disorders including conversion disorder, hypochondriasis, body dysmorphic disorder, and somatization disorder.

  • Define the “Mood Disorder” and describe the features of major depression, dysthymic disorder, seasonal affective disorder, postpartum depression and bipolar disorder.

  • Discuss psychodynamic, behavioral, cognitive, and biological perspective on the origins and treatment of mood disorders.

  • Distinguish among substance use and abuse, dependence, tolerance and withdrawal.

  • Describe physical and psychological effects of depressants, stimulants and hallucinogens.

  • Understand genetic and environmental contributions to substance abuse and dependence.

  • Describe the features of anorexia and bulimia and explain the etiological similarities and differences between these two eating disorders.

  • Discuss treatments for anorexia, bulimia, and binge-eating disorders.

  • Discuss the diagnostic features of sleep disorders, the methods of assessing them and their treatments.

  • Define and describe the features of various sexual dysfunctions and various paraphilias.

  • Define sexual abuse and rape, their subtypes and prevalence.

  • Distinguish among the disorganized, catatonic, and paranoid types of schizophrenia.

  • Discuss theoretical perspectives on schizophrenia, including the psychodynamic, learning, biological, and family theories in the development of schizophrenia.

  • Define the essential features of personality disorders and why they are classified as Axis II disorders.

  • Discuss theoretical perspectives on personality disorders including the psychodynamic, learning, family, biological, and socio-cultural perspectives.

  • Discuss ways of determining what is normal and what is abnormal in childhood and adolescence.

  • Define and discuss features, theoretical perspectives and treatments of various childhood disorders, i.e. Autism, AD/HD, and Learning Disabilities.

  • Distinguish between the levels of mental retardation and perspectives on possible causes of mental retardation.

  • Discuss features of disruptive behavior disorders.

  • Discuss features and treatment of anxiety disorder and depression in childhood and adolescence.

  • Define cognitive disorders in normal aging and discuss the basic features of dementia and Alzheimer’s.

  • Define, compare, and contrast voluntary and involuntary commitment and types of commitment, such as civil, psychiatric, and criminal commitment.


A Excellent 4 Grade Points Numerical grade of 90 - 100
B Above Average 3 Grade Points Numerical grade of 80 - 89
C Average 2 Grade Points Numerical grade of 70 - 79
D Below Average 1 Grade Point Numerical grade of 60 - 69
F Failed 0 Grade Point Numerical below 60
WP Withdraw Passing 0 Grade Point Issued if the course is dropped after the
census date and on or before the 60% point
of the course unless the instructor issues
a WF based on extenuating circumstances
WF Withdraw Failing 0 Grade Point Issued if the course is dropped after the
60% point of the course or the instructor
chooses based on extenuating circumstances


Students are responsible for attending and actively participating in all classes whether online, hybrid, or seated. Punctual, consistent attendance and participation are important for class success and future endeavors. Students are responsible for communicating with the instructor if an absence is unavoidable. While this statement is applicable to all departments within the School of Academics, Education, and Fine Arts, some departments may further define attendance and participation expectations based on the curriculum requirements.

It is the student's responsibility to withdraw from the course. Students may complete the withdrawal process in the Advising Center. Students may receive a grade of WP if they withdraw from a course by the 60% point/date of the course. Any student withdrawals that occur after the 60% point will result in a grade of WF. Exceptions to the "WF" grade may exist if the student has a mitigating circumstance. Students are encouraged to discuss withdrawal options with the faculty member and complete the withdrawal process in the Advising Center. Students who come in after the scheduled starting time or students who leave before the scheduled ending time will be counted as tardy. Three (3) tardy arrivals or early departures will count as one absence.


If you have a documented disability and wish to discuss academic accommodations, please contact Frank Pait, Counselor for Students with Disabilities, at extension 4222, in the Learning Assistance Center (LAC) located on the first floor of the Cuyler A. Dunbar Building (CAD).

If you are a student with a mobility impairment and have a class in a multi-story building, please discuss evacuation plans with your instructor.


Students shall be permitted excused absences from all classes two days per academic year for religious observances required by their faith. The absences requested in accordance with this policy are "one of" and not "in addition to" any absences otherwise permitted by the faculty for a class. The excused absence request must be submitted by the second class meeting and a minimum of two (2) weeks in advance of the absence. Please contact your instructor for the required forms.


Students at CVCC are expected to be honest in all academic pursuits, whether class, lab, shop, or clinical. Acts of academic dishonesty are considered unethical and subject to behavior sanctions. Examples of academic dishonesty include, but are not limited to the following:

1. Sharing information about the content of quizzes, exams, classroom/lab/shop/clinical assignments (scheduled or make-up) without approval of the instructor including but not limited to unauthorized copying, collaboration, or use of notes, books, or other materials when preparing for or completing examinations or other academic assignments (scheduled or make-up).

2. Buying, selling, or otherwise obtaining a copy of a quiz, exams, project, term paper, or like document, without approval of the instructor.

3. Plagiarism, which is defined as the intentional representation of another person's work, words, thoughts, or ideas (from any source) as one's own.

4. Failing to follow approved test taking procedures by performing such acts as:
  • Looking on another student's test
  • Use of unauthorized notes; written, electronic, or otherwise
  • Changing answers after exam is scored
  • Verbal, non-verbal, or electronic communication with another student during an exam

Instructors have the authority to impose either a warning, probation, or dismissal from the class for acts of academic dishonesty relative to classes under their supervision.

Students have an obligation to report any acts of academic dishonesty to the instructor or appropriate campus authority when reasonable grounds exist for such a report. Students also have a responsibility to cooperate in the investigation of any alleged acts of academic dishonesty. Failure to report acts of academic dishonesty could result in a behavior sanction as outlined in the Student Conduct Policy, Policy 3.18


Reporting and Response to Sexual Violence, Sexual or Gender-based Harassment, and Other Sexual Misconduct

"Title IX Violations" is the term that will be used to include "sexual violence, sexual or gender-based harassment, and other sexual misconduct" and is explained further in Procedure 3.18.2. The Procedure can be found on the CVCC Website under About Us/Procedures.

Procedure 3.18.2 applies exclusively to Title IX Violations allegations. All other forms of harassment and/or discrimination are handled under Policy 3.18: Student Code of Conduct.

Students and/or employees are encouraged to report Title IX Violations in any of its forms, including, but not limited to, sexual or gender-based harassment, rape, sexual assault, other forcible and non-forcible sex offenses, domestic or dating violence, or stalking, and CVCC supports this procedure for students and employees in compliance with Title IX legislation.

Any student who believes that he or she is being, or has been subjected to, Title IX Violations is encouraged to file a report of the alleged Title IX Violations promptly with the Title IX Coordinator, Dean for the School of Access, Development, and Success.


To Report a Serious Emergency Dial 911 from any campus phone or 911 from mobile phones; then dial 711 (Campus Safety & Security) from a campus phone.

For specific CVCC emergencies guidelines, please refer to the CVCC Emergency Guidebook


Quickly get all persons behind a locked door, close blinds, lock all windows/doors, and turn off lights. Sit against an interior wall away from windows and doors (hide). Keep cell phones ON in silent mode or vibrate. Do not leave the locked area until notified by a known CVCC administrator or by law enforcement that the emergency is over.

Seek Shelter (tornados, hurricanes, etc.)
Move to hallways and/or other inner rooms. Stay away from windows and doors. Sit on floor facing the inner wall and shield head with hands. Remain in shelter until notified by CVCC administration or by emergency personnel that the danger is over.

Building Evacuation
Leave the building immediately and proceed to a parking lot location at least 300 feet from the building. Do not delay to retrieve books or other personal items. Do not use elevators. Do not touch suspicious objects. Stay clear of the building once outside. Faculty should take class rosters if possible and account for all students at evacuation locations. Report any special assistance needed to CVCC faculty/staff or to emergency personnel. If you are aware or suspect someone is trapped in a threatened building, notify CVCC faculty/staff or emergency personnel. Remain at your building evacuation location until further instructions are provided by CVCC administration or by emergency personnel. In case of bomb threat, avoid using cell phones and wireless devices; this may detonate the bomb.

Smoke, Fire or Hazardous Materials
Activate the nearest fire alarm. Before attempting to fight a fire, notify someone nearby. Never attempt to fight a fire larger than wastebasket size. Close doors and windows to isolate the problem if the situation permits. If trapped in a building during a fire, use wet towels or cloths to protect you from flames and smoke. Stop/drop/roll if your clothes catch on fire. Do not open doors that feel hot. Always stay between the fire and an exit. Stay low to the floor as you try to exit.

Personal Emergencies
Unless you feel threatened, stay with the victim until emergency personnel arrive. Avoid contact with bodily fluids. Stay calm and try to minimize panic. If the person is conscious, ask if he/she is a High School student (if so, include this information in your 911 call).

Emergency Procedures Revised: April 4, 2012

Cell phone backup to 711 Campus Safety & Security:

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