All Discussion Questions

Week 1 DQ1

Abnormal Theories

Select two of the following theories of abnormal behavior:

a. Biological perspective
b. Psychodynamic perspective
c. Behavioral perspective
d. Cognitive perspective
e. Humanistic-existential perspective
f. Community-cultural perspective
g. Interactional approach
Compare and contrast the similarities and differences between each of these two theories of abnormal behavior.
How has the evolution of each theory you chose shaped the field of abnormal psychology in the context of a historical perspective?

Week 1 DQ2

Psycho-Physiological Disorders

Psycho-physiological disorders are categorized in the DSM-IV-TR under mental disturbances that arise from psychological dysfunction, existing disorders or other difficulties manifested through physical symptoms. These physical symptoms, however, cannot be traced back to any serious physical disease or origin, nor are they under the conscious control of the patient.

Describe the category of psycho-physiological disorders.  What are some of the unique features of psycho-physiological disorders?  How are some people able to avoid the negative effects of  the risk factors associated with these disorders?  Use the Ashford University Library to locate at least one peer-reviewed article that was published within the last five years to support your argument.  Your article must be cited according to APA guidelines as outlined in the Ashford Writing Center.

Week 2 DQ1

Anxiety Disorders

Review the video, The Anxiety Spectrum, in Chapter 3.1 of your course text.  Summarize Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) as described in the video.  Provide an example of a GAD and a phobic disorder based on your reading and the video.  Compare and contrast the GAD with the phobic disorder and address how avoidance behaviors are manifested differently in each.

Week 2 DQ2

Dependency Issues

In the DSM-IV-TR, substance-related disorders are divided into depressants (alcohol, barbiturates, and benzodiazepines), stimulants (amphetamine, cocaine, nicotine, and caffeine), opiates (heroin, codeine, and morphine), and hallucinogens (marijuana and LSD).  Specific diagnoses are further categorized as substance dependence, substance abuse, substance intoxication, and substance withdrawal.

Provide a brief definition of addiction, in your own words.  What are the similarities and differences in the levels of involvement in the following substance-related stages of addiction: use, intoxication, abuse, and dependence?  Discuss why people continue to use substances, despite negative consequences.

Week 3 DQ1

Dissociative Disorders

There are four dissociative disorders: Dissociative Amnesia, Dissociative Fugue, Depersonalization Disorder and the Dissociative Identity Disorder. These disturbances are characterized by profound alterations of consciousness and memory. A person’s sense of identity and his/her perception of reality are impaired.

Locate a professional website that discusses dissociative disorders to assist you in developing your reply to this discussion (such as,, or  Compare and contrast two of the dissociative disorders. In your own words, how would you cope with a loss of memory or identity?  What insights does the source you located provide?

Week 3 DQ2


The causes or etiology of depression are varied and include physiological, psychological, and environmental factors.  Depression is a whole-body disorder that affects many levels of your being, including: the body, nervous system, thoughts, moods, feelings and behavior.

Discuss the role of neurotransmitters, brain-wave activity, and negative cognitions in the etiology and treatment of depression.  Based on your own research, what is the best method to use to treat depression? Provide a justification for your selection of treatment options.  Include at least one scholarly, peer-reviewed article that was published within the past five years to support your answer.

Week 4 DQ1


Schizophrenia is a complex brain disorder.  It can affect the ability to think clearly, manage feelings, make decisions, and relate to other people.

Discuss two of the causative factors of schizophrenia.  Examine the success of one treatment approach for this disorder.  Utilize at least one peer-reviewed article that was published within the last five years and cited according to APA guidelines to support your answer.

Week 4 DQ2

Sleep/Eating and Antisocial Disorders

For this discussion, select one of the following options:

Option A: People with antisocial personality disorder typically have no regard for right and wrong.  They may often violate the law and the rights of others.  They will lie, behave violently, and have abused drugs and alcohol. In your own words, describe the basic features of antisocial personality disorder.  Explain why psychotherapy with this population is so likely to fail.  Develop a short case (not covered in the course reading) of an individual with antisocial personality disorder to illustrate your point.

Option B: The prevalence of sleep and eating disorders has increased in recent years.  Select one sleep or eating disorder to target for this discussion.  In your own words, describe the precipitating factors, defining features, and treatment options.  Develop a short case (not covered in the course reading) of an individual with your selected sleep or eating disorder to illustrate your point.

Week 5 DQ1

Brian’s Case

Children have been thought not to suffer from mental and emotional disorders. Studies have indicated that children do suffer from illnesses such as learning and conduct disorders, substance abuse. Conditions such as autism, depression, and suicide are common in our youth population.

Analyze the case study listed below.  Discuss what factors should be considered when diagnosing this case as required by each axis of the DSM-IV-TR. What is your treatment recommendation for the case? What medication is typically used to treat this diagnosis? Brian’s parents would like to use natural remedies first before medication. Provide two recommendations to them that meet these criteria.

Case Study: Brian Smith
Brian, age nine, was brought to the clinic after his classroom teacher suggested that he may need medication to help him focus and stop disrupting class.  She had tried all that she could, but nothing was successful.  His parents were leery of trying medication and wanted to try natural remedies first before giving him any psychiatric drugs. Brian has been receiving occupational therapy which has helped him focus during class. Brian admitted his mind would wander off when the teacher was writing on the blackboard and therefore he occupied his time with pretend play. Noises his classmates made, disturbed his concentration and he would get upset at them and argue.  His mother also reported that, though Brian was a very affectionate child, he had always found it difficult to socialize with his peer group and would resort to aggression out of frustration.

Week 5 DQ2

Sexual and Cognitive Disorders

For this discussion, you can write about a sexual disorder or a cognitive disorder. Select one of the following options:

Option A: Paraphilia is a condition involving sex fetishes where sexual arousal and gratification depend on fantasizing about, and engaging in, sexual behavior that is atypical and extreme.  Describe the symptoms of three different forms of paraphilia.  What do all paraphilias have in common?  Based on research, why do researchers suggest one’s gender and/or culture may influence this disorder?

Option B: Dementia and amnesia are among the cognitive disorders discussed in this week’s reading.  Select one disorder and describe the clinical features, causal factors, classification and treatment options.  Develop a short case (not covered in the course reading) of an individual with your selected cognitive disorder to illustrate your point.

Support your argument with at least one scholarly source outside of the text.

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