Psychopathology—Psych 5033

Fall Semester, 2009; MW 9 – 10:20; Memorial Hall 109


Instructor:      Dr. Nathan Williams                           Office:            220 Memorial Hall

Phone:            236 - 5052                                           Office Hrs:     W  10:30 – 11:30

Email:                                                           and by appointment

Web Page:      http://comp.uark/edu/~nlwilli



Required:                   American Psychiatric Association (2000). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision. Washington, DC: American Psychiatric Association. (*DSM-IV-TR).


Supplemental:            Maddux, J. E. & Winestead, B. A. (2005). Psychopathology: Foundations for a contemporary understanding. New Jersey: Lawrence Earlbaum.


Course Objectives:

This course is intended to provide students with base knowledge of psychopathology and to familiarize students with current concepts, research methods, and empirical findings in psychopathology research. We will discuss the phenomenology, classification, epidemiology, course, and possible etiological and maintaining factors associated with the most common forms of abnormal behavior. This course has two primary goals: (1) to enable students to make accurate and informed diagnoses of abnormal behavior and (2) to promote critical thinking around such issues as the concept of disorder, the classification of psychopathology, and psychopathology research and theory. In addition, this class will expose you to psychopathology research across the spectrum of disorders, as well as conceptual or review papers on relevant topics such as the development of DSM-V.


The main focus of the course will be on the most prevalent forms of psychopathology and on current empirical findings and conceptual models regarding such disorders. We will not cover all of the disorders listed in the DSM-IV-TR. Since treatment and intervention is covered in other classes offered by the faculty, psychotherapy approaches typically associated with specific disorders will not be a focus of this course. Also, we will not cover personality disorders, as they will be the focus of Personality: Theory and Disorder in the spring.


Class meetings will emphasize lectures designed to provide a broad overview of the topic for that class, as well as discussions of the readings of the assigned readings. It is therefore essential that you do the readings before the class for which they are assigned. The required readings, listed below, consist of both primary and secondary source material, as well as sections from the DSM-IV-TR. Many of the readings will be difficult for those without a background in the area; but don’t be discouraged if you have to struggle with them. Focus on the main questions, findings, and implications of the papers, and do not worry if you do not fully grasp the more technical details. Students will be asked to submit a weekly reaction paper to the assigned readings for the week, due on Mondays, to facilitate keeping you abreast of the readings and to help you build a series of article summaries to assist with the take-home examinations, as well as other elements of the program down the road.


Course Requirements:

The structure of this course is a bit unusual in that it combines a medical school approach to teaching diagnosis with a more traditional Ph.D. approach to understanding causes and concept(s) of psychopathology). The course will consist of two examinations (each with two parts), weekly reading reactions, and class participation.


Examinations: Each of the two examinations will consist of two parts. The first part is an in-class portion that will test your knowledge of diagnostic issues based on material from the DSM-IV-TR and the required text book. For the in-class portion of the exams you will need to know essential features of disorders, select diagnostic criteria, issues in differential diagnosis, key vocabulary, and information that pertain to specific culture, age, and gender features; prevalence; and course for select disorders.


The second part of the examination is a take-home portion that is designed to promote critical thinking around central issues from the assigned readings. The take-home portion of the exam will be distributed during the class period of the in-class portion of the exam and you will have approximately one week to complete the take-home exam. In constructing the take-home portion of the exams I will be operating on the assumption that you have kept up with the readings for the course to that point. It will be absolutely essential that you have done the readings prior to receiving the exam in order to complete the exam by the deadline. You will be able to refer to your readings, notes, etc in completing the exam but you may not discuss, confer, or in any way share your responses with other students in the class! Late responses will receive a 5% grade reduction for each 24 hour delay from the submission deadline. Further, late submissions must be turned in to the departmental staff so that they can verify the time and date of submission.


Reading Reactions: Each week a 1-2 page reaction to the assigned readings will be due on the first class period of that week (typically Monday). You are to both demonstrate that you have completed the readings and demonstrate that you can think critically about the issues that are raised. The first reading reaction will be due on Monday 8/31. You may have one exception.


Class Participation: Class participation will be assessed in two ways: (1) your tenure as a discussion leader for one lecture; and (2) in class participation.

            Discussion Leader. Students will serve as a discussion leader for two class periods. Your task is to provide an overview of the key issues raised in the articles and to stimulate class discussion. Your overview should consist of a 15 to 30 minute review of the assigned readings for that class.

            In class participation: This final category is sufficiently vague so as to encompass an evaluation of your contributions to class discussion. In the event that the class seems to be behind in the assigned readings, I may implement reading reaction papers and/or quizzes that will count toward class participation.



Course grades will be determined on the basis of performance on the examinations, critical analysis paper, and class participation according to the following weighted percentages:


            Exam 1            45%                 Exam 2            45%                 Participation    5%

                 In-class       (50%)                   In-class       (50%)              Weekly Papers 5%

                 Take-home (50%)                   Take-home (50%)



inclement weather policy:

In the event of inclement weather class may be cancelled or delayed. I will follow the University of Arkansas in determining whether to hold class (i.e., if it snows or ices check to see if the University has delayed or cancelled classes). Students may also contact me directly to determine if class is being held (236-5052).



Course Structure:

Unit 1: Core Concepts

a.       Defining Psychopathology and Mental Illness

b.      The Classification of Psychopathology

a.       Historical Perspective

b.      Contemporary Issues in DSM-IV

c.       Toward DSM-V and the Classification of Psychopathology

c.       Issues in Psychopathology Research

a.       General Research Issues

b.      Experimental Psychopathology

d.      Diversity Issues in Psychopathology

a.       Cultural Psychopathology

b.      Gender, Discrimination, and Under-Served or Under-Represented Groups


Unit 2: Lifespan Disorders

a.       Core Concepts in Child and Adolescent Psychopathology

a.       Learning, Internalizing, and Pervasive Developmental Disorders

b.      Externalizing Disorders and ADHD

b.      Cognitive Disorders—an overview


Unit 3: Substance Use Disorders


Unit 4: Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorders

a.       Epidemiology and Phenomenology

b.      Etiological Models


Unit 5: Mood Disorders

a.       Epidemiology, Phenomenology, and Core Concepts

b.      Etiological Models—Neurobiology

c.       Etiological Models—Cognitive, Diathesis-Stress, and Behavioral Models

d.      Bipolar Spectrum Disorders


Unit 6: Anxiety Disorders

a.       Epidemiology, Phenomenology, Descriptive Features, and Core Concepts

b.      General Etiological Models

c.       Specific Phobias and Social Phobia

d.      Panic Disorder and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder

e.       Generalized Anxiety Disorder and Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder


Unit 7: Somatization and Eating Disorders (i.e., the pseudoanxiety disorders?)

a.       A general overview of Somatization Disorders and Behavioral Medicine

b.      Epidemiology, Phenomenology, and Etiology of Eating Disorders



Psychopathology: Topics and Readings

Note that this is a tentative schedule of lecture topics and assigned readings, and modifications will be announced in class.


August 24: Introduction and Administrative Information


August 26 and 31:  Defining “Disorder”

DSM-IV-TR, pp. xxiii – 12


Szasz, T. S. (1994 ). Mental illness is still a myth. Society, 34 – 38.


Wakefield, J. C. (1992). The concept of mental disorder: on the boundary between biological facts and social values. American Psychologist, 47, 373-388.


Wakefield, J. C. (1999). Evolutionary versus prototype analyses of the concept of disorder. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 108, 374 – 399.



September 2: Classification & Disorder: A Historical Perspective

            DSM-IV-TR pp. 27 – 37.


Widiger, T. A. et al. (1991). Toward an empirical classification for the DSM-IV. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 100, 280-288.



September 7: No Class—Labor Day



September 9: Classification & Disorder: Examining DSM-IV

            DSM-IV-TR, pp. 27 – 37.

*Note: Reading reaction due on the readings for 9/2 and 9/9


Wakefield, J. C. (1997a). Diagnosing DSM-IV—Part I: DSM-IV and the concept of disorder. Behavioral Research and Therapy, 35, 633-649.


Widiger, T. A., & Clark, L.A. (2000). Toward DSM-V and the Classification of Psychopathology. Psychological Bulletin, 126, 946 – 963.



September 14: Contemporary Issues in DSM & Examining DSM-IV Part II


Brown, T. A. et al. (2001). Reliability of DSM-IV Anxiety and Mood Disorders: Implications for the Classification of Emotional Disorders. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 110, 49 – 58.


Wakefield, J. C. (1997b). Diagnosing DSM-IV—Part II: Eysenck (1986) and the essentialist fallacy. Behavioral Research and Therapy, 35, 651-665.


Widiger, T. A., & Samuel, D. B. (2005). Diagnostic categories of dimensions? A question for the DSM-V. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 114, 494-504.



September 16: Issues in Psychopathology Research I

Sher, K. J. & Trull, T. J. (1996). Methodological issues in psychopathology research. Annual Review of Psychology, 47, 371-400.


Garber, J., & Hollon, S. D. (1991). What can specificity designs say about causality in psychopathology research? Psychological Bulletin, 110, 129-136.



September 21: Issues in Psychopathology Research II: Experimental Psychopathology

            Zvolensky, M. J., Lejuez, C. W., Staurt, G. L., & Curtin, J. J. (2001). Experimental psychopathology in psychological science. Review of General Psychology, 5, 371 – 381.



September 23: Diversity Issues in Psychopathology

            DSM-IV-TR, pp. 897 – 903.


            Lewis-Fernandez, R. & Kleinman, A. (1994). Culture, Personality, and Psychopathology. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 103 67 – 71.


Lopez, S. R. & Guarnaccia, P. J. J. (2000). Cultural Psychopathology: Uncovering the social world of mental illness.  Annual Review of Psychology, 51, 571 - 598



September 25 FRIDAY: Diversity Issues in Psychopathology: Part II

            DSM-IV-TR, pp. 897 – 903.


            Hartung, C. M., & Widiger, T. A. (1998). Gender differences in the diagnosis of mental disorders: Conclusions and controversies of the DSM-IV. Psychological Bulletin, 123, 260 – 278.


            Pascoe, E. A. & Richman, L. S. (2009). Perceived discrimination and health: A meta-analytic review. Psychological Bulletin, 135, 531 – 554.



September 28: No class—Class will meet Friday 9/25



September 30: Unit 2: Lifespan Disorders—Core Concepts in Child and Adolescent Psychopathology

Burt, S. A. (2009). Rethinking environmental contributions to child and adolescent psychopathology: A meta-analysis of shared environmental influences. Psychological Bulletin, 135,  608 – 637.


Lahey, B. B. et al. (2004). The structure of child and adolescent psychopathology: Generating new hypotheses. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 113, 358 – 385.


            Karevold, E. et al. (2009). Predictors and pathways from infancy to symptoms of anxiety and depression in early adolescence. Developmental Psychology, 45, 1051 – 1060.



October 5: No class—Class will meet Friday 10/9



October 7: Child and Adolescent Psychopathology:  Learning, Internalizing, & Pervasive Developmental Disorders

            DSM-IV-TR, pp. 49 –84.


Boscardin, C. K., Muthén, B., Francis, D. J., & Baker, E. L. (2008). Early identification of reading difficulties using heterogeneous developmental trajectories. Journal of Educational Psychology, 100, 192-208.


            Volker, M. A., & Lopata, C. (2008). Autism: A review of biological bases, assessment, and intervention. School Psychology Quarterly, 23, 258-270.


            Williams, D., Botting, N., & Boucher, J. (2008). Language in autism and specific language impairment: Where are the links?. Psychological Bulletin, 134, 944-963.



October 9 FRIDAY: Child & Adolescent:  Externalizing Disorders & ADHD

DSM-IV-TR, pp. 85 – 102.


Barkley, R. A. (1997). Behavioral inhibition, sustained attention, and executive functions: Constructing a unifying theory of ADHD. Psychological Bulletin, 121, 65 - 94.


Nigg, J. T. (2001). Is ADHD a disinhibitory disorder? Psychological Bulletin, 127, 571 - 598.


Rowe, R., Maugham, B., Costello, E. J., & Angold, A. (2005). Defining oppositional defiant disorder. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 46, 1309 – 1316.



October12: Cognitive Disorders

            DSM-IV-TR, pp. 135 – 180.


APA Task Force (1998). Guidelines for the evaluation of dementia and age-related cognitive decline. American Psychologist, 53, 1298 – 1303.


Marsh, E. J., Balota, D. A., & Roediger, H. L. (2005). Learning facts from fiction: Effects of healthy aging and early-stage dementia of the Alzheimer Type. Neuropsychology, 19, 115-129.


Wilson et al. (2000). Person-specific paths of cognitive decline in Alzheimer’s Disease and their relation to age. Psychology and Aging, 15, 18 – 28.



October 14: Unit 3—Substance Use Disorders

            DSM-IV-TR, pp. 191 – 223.


Martin, C. S. et al. (2008). How should we revise diagnostic criteria for substance use disorders in the DSM-V? Journal of Abnormal Psychology 117, 361 – 375.


Moss, A. C. & Albery, I. P. (2009). A dual-process model of the alcohol-behavior link for social drinking. Psychological Bulletin, 135, 516 – 530.


Robinson, T. E., & Berridge, K. C. (2003). Addiction. Annual Review of Psychology, 54, 25 – 53.



October 19: IN CLASS portion of EXAM 1 will be administered

** Take home portion of Exam 1 will be distributed—due Monday 10/26



October 21: Unit 4—Schizophrenia I

            DSM-IV-TR, pp. 297 – 343.


Walker, E., Kestler, L., Bollini, A., & Hochman, K. M. (2004). Schizophrenia: Etiology and course. Annual Review of Psychology, 55, 401 – 430.



October 26: Schizophrenia II



Andreasen, N. C., Nopoulous, P. et al. (1999). Defining the phenotype of schizophrenia: Cognitive Dysmetria and its neural mechanisms. Biological Psychiatry, 46, 908 – 920.


Beck, A. T., & Rector, N. A. (2003). A cognitive model of hallucinations. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 27, 19 – 52.


Heinrichs, R. W. (2005). The primacy of cognition in schizophrenia. American Psychologist, 60, 229 – 242.



October 28: Unit 5—Mood Disorders I: Epidemiology & Descriptive Features

            DSM-IV-TR, pp. 345 – 428.


Klein, D. N. (2008). Classification of depressive disorders in the DSM-V: Proposal for a two-dimension system. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 117, 552-560.


Parker, G. (2000). Classifying depression: Should paradigms lost be regained? American Journal of Psychiatry, 157, 1195-1203.


            Watson, D. (2005). Rethinking the mood and anxiety disorders: A quantitative hierarchical model for DSM-V. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 114, 522 – 536.



November 2: Mood Disorders II: Etiological Models—Neurobiology

            DSM-IV-TR, pp. 345 – 428.


            Davidson, R. J. et al. (2002). Depression: Perspectives from affective neuroscience. Annual Review of Psychology, 53, 545 – 574.


            Sbarra, D. A., & Allen, J. J. B. (2009). Decomposing depression: On the prospective and reciprocal dynamics of mood and sleep disturbances. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 118, 171-182.



November 4: Mood Disorders III: Etiological Models—Cognitive & Diathesis Stress Model

Alloy, L. B. et al. (2006). Prospective incidence of 1st onsets and recurrences of depression in individuals at high and log cognitive risk for depression. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 115, 145-156.


Brewin, C. R. (1996). Theoretical foundations of cognitive behavior therapy for anxiety and depression. Annual Review of Psychology, 47, 33 – 57.


            Monroe, S. M. & Harkness, K. L. (2005). Life stress, the “kindling” hypothesis, and the recurrence of depression: A life stress perspective. Psychological Review, 112, 417 – 445.



November 9: Mood Disorders IV: Etiological Models—Behavioral, CBT & Bipolar Spectrum Disorders

DSM-IV-TR, pp. 345 – 428 (bipolar spectrum disorders).


            Alloy, L. B., Abramson, L. Y., Walshaw, P. D., Gerstein, R. K., Keyser, J. D., Whitehouse, W. G., Urosevic, S., Nusslock, R., Hogan, M. E., & Harmon-Jones, E. (2009). Behavioral approach system (BAS)–relevant cognitive styles and bipolar spectrum disorders: Concurrent and prospective associations. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 118, 459-471.


Geisler, R. B. et al. (1996). Self verification in clinical depression: The desire for negative evaluation. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 105, 358-368.


Steger, M. F., & Kashdan, T. B. (2009). Depression and everyday social activity, belonging, and well-being. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 56, 289-300.



November 11: Unit 6—Anxiety Disorders I: Epidemiology & Descriptive Features

DSM-IV-TR, pp. 430 – 476.


Barlow, D. H. (2000). Unraveling the mysteries of anxiety and its disorders from the perspective of emotion theory. American Psychologist, 55, 1247-1263.


Williams, N. L. et al. (2005). Anxiety Disorders: A developmental vulnerability-stress perspective. In B. L. Hankin and J. R. Z. Abela (Eds.), Development of psychopathology: A vulnerability-stress perspective. (pp. 289 – 327). Sage Publications. Note. A hard copy will be provided.



November 16: Anxiety Disorders II: General Etiological Models

            DSM-IV-TR, pp. 430 – 476.


Barlow, D. H. (2000). Unraveling the mysteries of anxiety and its disorders from the perspective of emotion theory. American Psychologist, 55, 1247-1263.


Beck, A. T., & Clark, D. A. (1997). An information processing model of anxiety: Automatic and strategic processes. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 35 49-58.


Mineka, S. & Zinbarg, R. (2006). A contemporary learning theory perspective on the etiology of anxiety disorders: It’s not what you thought it was. American Psychologist, 61, 10 – 26.



November 18: Anxiety Disorders III: Specific Phobias and Social Phobia

DSM-IV-TR, pp. 443 – 456.


King, N. J., Eleonora, G., & Ollendick, T. H. (1998). Etiology of childhood phobias: Current status of Rachman’s three pathways theory. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 36, 297 – 309.


Mineka, S., & Ohman, A. (2002). Born to fear: Non-associative vs associative factors in the etiology of phobias. Behaviour Research & Therapy, 40, 173 – 184.


            Rapee & Heimberg (1997). A cognitive-behavioral model of anxiety in social phobia. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 35, 741-756.



November 23: Anxiety Disorders IV: Panic & OCD

            DSM-IV-TR, pp. 430 – 443; 456 – 463


Bouton, M. E., Mineka, S., & Barlow, D. H. (2001). A modern learning theory perspective on the etiology of panic disorder. Psychological Review, 108, 4 – 32.


Rachman, S. (1998). A cognitive theory of obsessions: Elaborations. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 36, 385 – 401.


Rachman, S. (1997). A cognitive theory of obsessions. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 35, 793-802.


            Roth, W. T., Wilhelm, F. H., & Petit, D. (2005). Are current theories of panic falsifiable? Psychological Bulletin, 131, 171 – 192.






November 30: Anxiety Disorders V: GAD & PTSD

            DSM-IV-TR, pp. 463 – 476.


Borkovec, T. D., Ray, W. J., & Stober, J. (1998). Worry: A cognitive phenomenon intimately linked to affective, physiological, and interpersonal behavioral processes. Cognitive Therapy and Research, 22, 561- 576.


Frazier, P., Anders, S., Perera, S., Tomich, P., Tennen, H., Park, C., & Tashiro, T. (2009). Traumatic events among undergraduate students: Prevalence and associated symptoms. Journal of Counseling Psychology, 56, 450-460.


McNally, R. J. (2003). Progress and controversy in the study of posttraumatic stress disorder. Annual Review of Psychology, 54, 229 – 252.


Mennin, D., et al. (2005). Preliminary evidence for an emotion dysregulation model of generalized anxiety disorder. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 43, 1281 – 1310.



December 2: Somatization Disorders

            TAKE-HOME part of EXAM #2 will be DISTRIBUTED—

DUE 12/11 BY 5 PM

DSM-IV-TR, pp. 485 – 510.


Krueger, R. F., et al. (2003). A cross-cultural study of the structure of comorbidity among common psychopathological syndromes in the general health care setting. Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 112, 437 – 447.


Looper, K. J., & Kirmayer, L. J. (2002). Behavioral medicine approaches to somatoform disorders. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 70, 810-827.


Turk, D. C. & Okifuji, A. (2002). Psychological factors in chronic pain: Evolution and revolution. Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, 70, 678-690.



December 7: Eating Disorders

            DSM-IV-TR, pp. 583 – 595 and 679 – 683.


Fairburn, C. G. et al. (2003). Cognitive behaviour therapy for eating disorders: A “transdiagnostic” theory and treatment. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 41,  509 - 528.


Jacobi, C., Hayward, C., de Zwaan, M., Kraemer, H. C., & Agras, W. S. (2004). Coming to terms with risk factors for eating disorders: Application of risk terminology and suggestions for a general taxonomy. Psychological Bulletin, 130,  19 – 65.


            Polivy, J. & Peter, H. (2002). Causes of eating disorders. Annual Review of Psychology, 53, 187-213.



December 10 THURSDAY: IN CLASS EXAM #2 12:30 – 2:30 

Note: The ‘In Class’ portion of Exam 2 will be administered Thursday 12/10 at 12:30 in our regular classroom (this is the scheduled ‘final examination period for the class).



December 11: TAKE HOME DUE

Note: The ‘Take-Home’ portion of Exam 2 must be turned in by 5 pm Friday. Please submit a hard copy of your responses either directly to me or under my office door no later than 5pm Friday 12/11.


*Note: Late Papers will receive a 5% grade reduction for each 24 hr delay beyond the 5 pm deadline and must be submitted to the departmental staff so that they can verify the time of submission.