Models of Abnormal Behavior
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Abnormal behavior is a central focus in the field of psychology. Throughout history, many theories and models have been formulated in order to explain the occurrence of abnormal behavior. These theories or models include:
- The biological model
- The systematic or environmental model
- The behavioral model
- The psychodynamic model
The Biological model is based on the theory that abnormal behavior is genetic and/or occurs as a result of medical conditions or physical disparities. Simply, an individual's inherit characteristics, brain injuries, or disparities in brain chemistry will cause them to participate in abnormal behaviors. The systematic or environmental model is based on the theory that abnormal behavior occurs as a result of an individual's experiences and traumatic events within his or her environment. With this model, abusive situations, traumatic situations, or neglectful situations will cause an individual to participate in abnormal behavior.
The behavioral model is based on the theory that abnormal behavior is a reaction or learned response. For example, unstable family structures, unhealthy behaviors of parents and peers, and cultural beliefs cause individuals to participate in abnormal behavior. Finally, the psychodynamic model is based on the theory that abnormal behaviors occur because of repressed emotions or unmet human needs. Similar to the other models, it is believed that abnormal behaviors are caused by repressed emotions, experiences, traumatic situations, and other events that have occurred in the developmental phase of a child.
Personality disorders are a form of mental illness characterized by particular patterns of behavior and thought processes. The behavior and thought processes are inflexible and abnormal, causing the individual to experience great interpersonal difficulty, often creating difficulty in relationships, social functioning, and the workplace.
Personality disorders are categorized by clusters. There are three clusters. Cluster A is comprised of paranoid personality disorder, schizoid personality disorder, and schizotypal personality disorder. These disorders are considered odd or eccentric. Cluster B is composed of antisocial personality disorder, borderline personality disorder, histrionic personality disorder, and narcissistic personality disorder. These disorders are classified as dramatic, emotional, erratic disorders. Cluster C contains disorders classified as anxious or fearful.