Abnormal Psychology Course and Class Information

Courses in abnormal psychology can be found in psychology and behavioral science programs at the undergraduate and graduate levels. These courses focus on issues like mental disorders, behavior problems, the criminal mind and psychological issues in children. Continue reading to explore common class topics in abnormal psychology.

Essential Information

Students enrolling in psychology programs can expect to take at least one course in abnormal psychology, but there are opportunities to delve into this subject in a more in-depth way through courses like the ones mentioned below. Individuals interested in becoming psychologists can enroll in a PhD program in clinical psychology. Courses include cognitive psychology, psychopathology and courses in counseling, to name a few areas.

Here are a few concepts that students in abnormal psychology courses can expect to study:

  • Psychological theories and research
  • Signs of psychological disorders
  • Mental disorder classification
  • Psychotherapy
  • Treatment effectiveness

List of Common Courses

Psychological Disorders Course

This course explores common forms of abnormal behavior, including affective, anxiety and personality disorders. Students get an overview of abnormal psychology and gain insight into the history of psychological disorders, including examining the thoughts, ideas and studies of noted abnormal psychologists. This class usually requires a prerequisite course in entry-level psychology and may fall toward the middle of an undergraduate or graduate program in psychology.

Psychological Biology Course

The biological connection to abnormal psychology is studied in this course. Students learn how biology affects a person's brain and causes disorders, such as obsessive-compulsive disorder or schizophrenia. They also review the history of disorders and discuss ways society views individuals with psychological disorders. This course usually requires completion of basic psychology courses, as well as an introduction to abnormal psychology or disorders course. It often is offered in the middle of an undergraduate or graduate psychology or psychiatry program.

Addiction Psychology Course

Addiction is a common psychological disorder. This course covers the development and treatment of addictive behaviors. Students might examine clinical cases and address specific addictions, such as nicotine, alcohol or heroin. The course might explain why addictions form and why some substances are more addictive than others. It also might cover addictions involving sex or gambling. An introductory psychology class is usually a prerequisite for this course, which might come in the middle of a graduate psychology program.

Criminal Psychology Course

In this course, students learn about links between mental disorders and criminal activity. Deviant behaviors, violent crimes, sexual offenses and insanity typically are covered. This course usually requires prerequisite courses in psychology and abnormal behaviors. It often comes near the end of a graduate program in psychology.

Psychological Disorders in Children Course

Through this course, students explore the development, treatment and diagnosis of psychological disorders in childhood. They might learn about behavior problems and disorders that develop most often in childhood, as well as focusing on ways children are treated in comparison to adults with similar disorders. This course usually requires several prerequisite courses in psychology and comes toward the end of a graduate psychology program.

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