Weekly Paper Sample
Chapters 2 and 3: Abnormal Psychology and Risk and Prevention of Mental Disorders
My weekly paper is on chapters 2 and 3, Abnormal Psychology and Risk and Prevention of Mental Disorders, and I will discuss the following three topics: behavioral and molecular genetics, family aggregation and comorbidity, and diathesis-stress model as well as corresponding examples to illustrate my understanding of the topics.
Behavioral and Molecular Genetics
In the text, the authors discuss that behavioral genetics is the study of how “genetic and environmental factors influence the development of emotions, cognitions, and behavior” (Kearny & Trull, 2016). Behavioral geneticists are interested in both the genetic and environmental factors that influence mental disorders. While molecular genetics focus on analyzing the specific genes and how they influence mental disorders; and these researchers are known as molecular geneticists.
Examples to demonstrate my understanding of Behavioral and Molecular Genetics
In the case of Damien, whose father’s family has a long and well-documented history of substance abuse disorder, he would seek out a behavioral geneticist to develop a better understanding of how his family history may make him have a high risk of utilizing addictive substances. Damien, who is a biologist himself, would probably want the behavioral geneticist to investigate specifically how these patterns of substance abuse have affected his genetic material. For this to happen, the behavioral geneticist would most likely consult with a molecular geneticist to determine and construct a more accurate picture of not only the heritability likelihood for Damien and his progeny, but also examine some specific genes that may play a role in this predisposition. The geneticists would then be able to create a detailed report of Damien’s genetic and molecular makeup and what risk factors may place Damien at a higher risk for developing this disorder.
Family Aggregation and Comorbidity
Family aggregation refers to the collection or clustering of specific traits, behaviors, and disorders within a family system. The specific traits and behaviors in a familial aggregate can predispose people to certain risk factors for mental disorders. The topic of comorbidity refers to the “presence of two or more disorders in a person” (Kearny & Trull, 2016). Comorbidity is of primary importance to health professionals because people who have more than one mental severe disorders have a significantly lower likelihood of recovery than those who have only one mental disorder.
Examples to demonstrate my understanding of Family Aggregation and Comorbidity
Janine has a discussion with her psychologist after her mother is diagnosed with schizophrenia to understand the likelihood of her developing this disorder due to genetic risk factors. During the discussion that Janine has with her psychologist, she discloses that she has substance abuse disorder and is currently utilizing the methadone as a means of supplementing for her heroin addiction. Janine’s psychologist begins to explain to her that due to her family aggregate profile and her current diagnosis of substance abuse disorder she has an increased likelihood of developing schizophrenia and having to endure comorbidity. The psychologist also explains that because both disorders have high severity, she will have a more difficult time undergoing psychological treatment.
The Diathesis-Stress Model
The text refers to a diathesis as “the biological or psychological predisposition to disorder” (Kearny & Trull, 2016). A diathesis does not stipulate the guarantee of a mental disorder but rather a vulnerability. The diathesis-stress model is a combination of states that the “combination of predisposition and stress produces psychological problems” (Kearny & Trull, 2016). These vulnerabilities and stressors fall on a continuum from weak to strong.
Examples to demonstrate my understanding of the Diathesis-Stress Model
Michaela and Laila both have predispositions towards anxiety and have varying degrees of responses to collegiate stressors. Michaela suffers constantly with restless thoughts and insomnia due to her high level of involvement in several collegiate activities and her overload of courses. In contrast, Laila endures infrequent periods of intense stress due to her lackadaisical lifestyle, infrequent involvement in campus activities, and intermittent class schedule. When these predispositions to anxiety are present, then it makes it easier or more likely for these two to utilize alcohol as a means of coping. Due to Michaela’s high-stress levels and presence of anxiety, she has a higher and more frequent likelihood of using alcohol and eventually developing substance abuse disorder to the stipulations of the diathesis-stress model.
How your weekly paper will be graded: Your weekly papers will be graded as follow:
Discussion of the 3 topics you have chosen (1 point each) = 3 points;
Examples demonstrating your understanding of the 3 topics (2 points each) = 6 points; and
Format (APA) = 1 point. Total = 10 points. Total of, at least, 10 weekly papers must be submitted = 100 points. You are required to turn in your paper for each week on Thursday.
Weekly Paper Sample