Abnormal Psychology

Abnormal Psychology

Course Hours: 
Course Type: 
Mentor Supported
You may also like: 
  • Description
  • Objectives
  • Outline
  • Materials
  • Approvals
  • System Requirements
  • Watch a Demo

In the same way that psychology offers important insights in terms of human behavior and experience, so does the sub-field called 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 you 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    
An Overview of Psychopathology and Changing Conceptualizations of Mental Illness

  • Understanding Psychopathology
  • Historical Considerations
  • Discovering the Function of the Brain in Behavior and Psychopathology
  • Care for Those with Mental Disorders
  • Biological Approaches to Treating Mental Illness
  • Psychological Treatment Perspectives in the Twentieth Century

Abnormal Psychology Module 2
Neuroscience Approaches to Understanding Psychopathology

  • Growing Importance of Neuroscience and Genetics
  • Brain Anatomy, Neurons, and Neurotransmitters
  • Neurons and Neural Transmission
  • How Do We Observe the Brain at Work?
  • Networks of the Brain
  • Genetics and Psychopathology
  • Evolution and Psychopathology 

Abnormal Psychology Module 3   
Research Methods

  • What is Science?
  • Nonexperimental Methods of Psychological Research
  • Naturalistic Observations
  • Correlational Approach
  • The Experimental Method: Making it Happen
  • Designing an Experimental Study
  • Ethics and Scientific Experiment
  • Research Considerations

Abnormal Psychology Module 4
Assessment and Classification of Psychological Disorders

  • Initial Assessment and Mental Status Exam
  • Structured Interviews and Assessment Considerations
  • Models of Assessment
  • Diagnostic Considerations in Psychopathology
  • Classification Systems for Mental Disorders

Abnormal Psychology Module 5
Disorders of Childhood

  • Aspects of Normal Child Development
  • Attachment Disorders, Conduct Disorder, and Oppositional Defiant Disorder
  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder and Learning Disorders
  • Intellectual Development Disorder

Abnormal Psychology Module 6
Mood Disorders and Suicide

  • Introducing Mood Disorders
  • Major Depressive Disorder
  • Biological and Neuroscience Treatments for Depression
  • Psychological Treatments for Depression
  • Bipolar Disorder
  • Aspects of Suicide

Abnormal Psychology Module 7
Stress, Trauma, and Psychopathology

  • The Psychological Mechanisms Related to Stress and Trauma
  • Does Trauma Produce Mental Illness?
  • The Study of Stress
  • Fight or Flight
  • Trauma-and-Stressor-Related Disorders in DSM-5
  • Adjustment Disorders
  • Acute Stress Disorder
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Abnormal Psychology Module 8
Anxiety Disorders and Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders

  • Overview of Anxiety Disorders
  • The Nature of Anxiety and Evolutionary Explanations
  • Cognitive Processes in Anxiety
  • Major Types of Anxiety Disorders
  • Separation Anxiety Disorders
  • Generalized Anxiety Disorder
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder

Abnormal Psychology Module 9
Dissociative and Eating Disorders

  • Dissociative Disorders
  • Somatic Symptom and Related Disorders
  • Depersonalization/Derealization Disorder
  • Dissociative Identity Disorder
  • Illness Anxiety Disorder
  • Feeding Disorders
  • The Problem of Obesity
  • Major Eating Disorders
  • Anorexia Nervosa
  • Bulimia Nervosa

Abnormal Psychology Module 10
Sexuality Disorders and Gender Dysphoria

  • Sexuality in Context
  • Sexual Desire, Arousal, and Response
  • Sexual Dysfunction Disorders
  • Paraphilic Disorders
  • Gender Dysphoria

Abnormal Psychology Module 11
Substance-Related and Addictive Disorders

  • Drug Use in the United States
  • Substance Abuse, Dependence, and Addiction
  • Alcohol
  • Marijuana, Hallucinogens, and Opioids
  • Stimulants: Cocaine, Amphetamines, Caffeine, and Nicotine
  • Gambling
  • Treatment of Substance-Related Disorders

Abnormal Psychology Module 12

  • Schizophrenia Basics: Prevalence, Course, and Symptoms
  • Historical and Evolutionary Perspectives on Schizophrenia
  • Factors in the Development of Schizophrenia
  • Causes and Effects: Neuroscience Findings About Schizophrenia
  • Treating Individuals with Schizophrenia

Abnormal Psychology Module 13
Personality Disorders

  • What is a Personality Disorder?
  • Odd. Eccentric Personality Disorders
  • Dramatic Emotional Personality Disorders
  • Anxious Fearful Personality Disorders
  • Treatment of Personality Disorders

Abnormal Psychology Module 14
Neurocognitive Disorders, Law and Mental Health

  • Normal Cognitive Changes Related to Aging
  • Delirium
  • Mild and Major Neurocognitive Disorders
  • Prevention, Treatment, and Support
  • The American Legal System and the Insanity Defense
  • Competency to Stand Trial
  • Ethical and Legal Issues in Treatment
  • Sexual Predator Laws

**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