Abnormal Psychology

Abnormal Psychology

Course Hours: 
Course Type: 
Mentor Supported
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  • Description
  • Objectives
  • Outline
  • Materials
  • Approvals
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In the same way that psychology offers important insights in terms of human behavior and experience, so does the sub-field known as abnormal psychology. Our Abnormal Psychology course will introduce psychopathology and changing views of mental illness. We examine impairments in brain functions and social processes and how this affects everyday life. Our course explores disorders of childhood, mood disorders, psychoses, schizophrenia, sexuality, eating, and anxiety disorders. By taking this course, you will discover the many faces of abnormal psychology and will be challenged to define what is normal and abnormal.

Prerequisite(s): None

After completing this course, you should be able to:

  • Identify components of psychopathology and neuroscience approaches to treating mental illness
  • Recall symptoms and behaviors associated with psychological disorders, childhood disorders, mood disorders, and suicide
  • Recognize how stress, trauma, and anxiety affect psychopathology
  • Define characteristics of eating, sexuality, and addictive disorders
  • Identify traits associated with schizophrenia, personality, and neurocognitive disorders


Abnormal Psychology Module 1     
Causes of Abnormal Behavior   

  • Recognizing the Presence of a Disorder
  • Features of Abnormal Behavior
  • Defining Abnormal Behavior
  • Who Experiences Abnormal Behavior?
  • Psychopathology in Historical Context
  • Systems Theory
  • Biological Factors
  • Psychological Factors
  • Social Factors

Abnormal Psychology Module 2
Treatment of Psychological Disorders  

  • DSM-5: Diagnosis and Treatment
  • Biological Treatments
  • Psychodynamic Psychotherapies
  • Cognitive-Behavior Therapy
  • Humanistic Therapies
  • Research on Psychotherapy
  • Couple, Family, and Group Therapy

Abnormal Psychology Module 3    
Classification and Assessment of Abnormal Behavior

  • Basic Issues in Classification
  • Classifying Abnormal Behavior
  • Evaluating Classification Systems
  • Basic Issues in Assessment
  • Interviews and Observations
  • Personality Tests
  • Self-Report Inventories
  • Biological Assessment Procedures

Abnormal Psychology Module 4
Mood Disorders and Suicide  

  • Systems Associated with Depression
  • Diagnosis for Depression and Bipolar Disorders
  • Course, Outcome, and Frequency
  • Social, Psychological, Biological Factors
  • Treatment for Depressive Disorders
  • Treatment for Bipolar and Mood Disorders
  • Aspects of Suicide

Abnormal Psychology Module 5
Anxiety, Obsessive-Compulsive, and Stress Disorders

  • Symptoms of Anxiety Disorders
  • Diagnosis and Frequency of Anxiety Disorders
  • Social, Biological, and Psychological Factors
  • Treatment of Anxiety Disorders
  • Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders
  • Acute and Posttraumatic Stress Disorders
  • Frequency, Causes, and Treatment of PTSD and ASD
  • Dissociate Disorders
  • Somatic Symptom Disorders

Abnormal Psychology Module 6
Stress and Physical Health

  • Defining Stress
  • Stress as a Life Event
  • Symptoms of Stress
  • Immune System Responses
  • Cancer
  • AIDS
  • Pain Disorder
  • Sleep-Wake Disorders
  • Coping and Resilience
  • Diagnosis of Stress and Physical Illness
  • Cardiovascular Disease and Stress

Abnormal Psychology Module 7
Personality Disorders

  • Important Features of Personality Disorders
  • Temperament and Personality Traits
  • Context and Personality
  • Schizotypal Personality Disorder (SPD)
  • Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD)
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder (ASPD)

Abnormal Psychology Module 8
Feeding, Substance, and Addictive Disorders 

  • Symptoms of Anorexia
  • Symptoms of Bulimia
  • Symptoms of Addiction
  • Alcohol, Tobacco, and Psychomotor Stimulants
  • Impact of Other Drugs on Human Physiology and Behavior
  • Diagnosis of Substance Use Disorders
  • Causes of Substance Disorders
  • Gambling Disorder

Abnormal Psychology Module 9
Paraphilic and Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders 

  • Human Sexual Response Cycle
  • Origins of Sexual Dysfunction
  • Paraphilic Disorders
  • Gender Dysphoria
  • Symptoms and Diagnosis of Schizophrenia
  • Treatment of Schizophrenia

Abnormal Psychology Module 10
Neurocognitive and Intellectual Disorders 

  • Symptoms of Neurocognitive Disorders
  • Diagnosis of Neurocognitive Disorders
  • Frequency of Delirium
  • Prevalence of Dementia
  • Measuring Intelligence
  • Causes of Intellectual Disabilities
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders

Abnormal Psychology Module 11
Psychological Disorders of Childhood

  • Externalizing Disorders
  • Causes of Externalizing Disorders
  • Treatment of Externalizing Disorders
  • Internalizing and Other Disorders
  • Causes and Treatment of Internalizing Disorders

Abnormal Psychology Module 12
Adjustment Disorders and Life-Cycle Transitions 

  • Symptoms and Diagnosis of Adjustment Disorders
  • The Transition to Adulthood
  • Family Transitions
  • The Transition to Later Life

Abnormal Psychology Module 13
Mental Health and the Law

  • Conflicts
  • Mental Illness and Criminal Responsibility
  • Civil Commitment
  • Committed Patients’ Rights
  • Mental Health and Family Law
  • Professional Responsibilities and the Law

**Outlines are subject to change, as courses and materials are updated.**

Ed4Career is committed to being both environmentally conscious and making it easier for you to study! We’re making your education mobile! All of our textbooks are now provided as eTextbooks. You can access them on your laptop, tablet, or mobile device and can study anytime, anywhere.

The move away from physical books to eTextbooks means you get the latest, most up-to-date version available. This also makes your training more accessible, so you can study anywhere you have your phone or tablet. The best part is that all materials are included in your training cost so there are NO extra fees for books!

 International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET)

Ed4Career has been approved as an Accredited Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET). In obtaining this accreditation, Ed4Career has demonstrated that it complies with the ANSI/IACET Standard which is recognized internationally as a standard of good practice. As a result of the Accredited Provider status, Ed4Career is authorized to offer IACET CEUs for courses and programs that qualify under the ANSI/IACET Standard.

The Continuing Education Unit (CEU) was created by IACET as a measurement of continuing education. One (1) IACET CEU is equal to ten (10) contact hours of participation in an organized continuing education experience under responsible sponsorship, capable direction, and qualified instruction. Under IACET's care, the IACET CEU has evolved from a quantitative measure to a hallmark of quality training and instruction. For more information on IACET, visit iacet.org.

Internet Connection

  • Broadband or High-Speed - DSL, Cable, and Wireless Connections

*Dial-Up internet connections will result in a diminished online experience. Classroom pages may load slowly and viewing large audio and video files may not be possible.

Hardware Requirements

  • Processor - 2GHz Processor or Higher
  • Memory - 1 GB RAM Minimum Recommended


PC Software Requirements

  • Operating Systems - Windows 7 or higher
  • Microsoft Office 2013 or higher. Also, you could use a general Word Processing application to save and open Microsoft Office formats (.doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx, .ppt, .pptx)
  • Internet Browsers - Google Chrome is highly recommended
    • Cookies MUST be enabled
    • Pop-ups MUST be allowed (Pop-up Blocker disabled)
  • The Kindle Reader App or VitalSource Bookshelf App are needed for many of our courses (No special equipment needed. This can be downloaded for FREE onto your computer.)
  • PowerPoint Viewer (if you do not have PowerPoint)
  • Adobe PDF Reader
  • QuickTime, Windows Media Player &/or Real Player


MAC Software Requirements

  • Operating Systems - Mac OS x 10 or higher with Windows
  • Mac office programs or a Word Processing application to save and open Microsoft Office formats (.doc, .docx, .xls, .xlsx, .ppt, .pptx)
  • Internet Browsers- Google Chrome is highly recommended
    • Cookies MUST be enabled
    • Pop-ups MUST be allowed (Pop-up Blocker disabled)
  • The Kindle Reader App or VitalSource Bookshelf App are needed for many of our courses (No special equipment needed. This can be downloaded for FREE onto your computer.)
  • PowerPoint Viewer (if you do not have PowerPoint)
  • Adobe PDF Reader
  • Apple QuickTime Media Player