Chapter 1: The Beginning of Life: Pregnancy through Preschool

Introduction A newborn child is transformed in only 1 year from a self-involved infant who can barely lift her head to an interactive, mobile human being with specific desires and strong preferences. An impatient and insecure adolescent, anxious about what he will do and where he belongs in the world, becomes a confident adult, comfortable […]

Chapter 2: School Age and Adolescence

Introduction In certain cultural and religious groups, the age of 7 years is a significant developmental milestone. The Catholic Church considers children of this age to have attained the ability to reason and thus designates it the age for the First Holy Communion. Formal schooling, the development of conscience and morality, and the ability to […]

Chapter 3: The Challenges of Early and Middle Adulthood

Introduction Like childhood and adolescence, adulthood is characterized by transitional periods. In adults, these periods commonly involve the reappraisal of one’s desires, goals, and values and can therefore provide important opportunities for growth and development. If an individual does not negotiate these transitions successfully and instead becomes emotionally “stuck” at some developmental point, long-term consequences […]

Chapter 4: Aging, Death, and Bereavement

Introduction It is predicted that, by the year 2020, more than 15% of the population will be more than 65 years of age. In fact, the fastest-growing segment of the population is what has been referred to as the “old–old,” people more than 85 years of age. In Britain, the medical care of the elderly […]

Chapter 5: Genetics, Anatomy, and Biochemistry of Behavior

Introduction Like physical health, emotional health is a result of complex interactions among biological, social, and environmental influences. Disorders of health of either type result from aberrations or distortions in one or more of these influences at any time in a person’s life. Theoretical difficulties exist when trying to separate biological from social and environmental […]

Chapter 6: Biological Assessment of Patients with Psychiatric Symptoms

Introduction Biological abnormalities, unidentified medical illnesses, and substance abuse can cause psychiatric symptoms in otherwise mentally healthy individuals and can exacerbate such symptoms in persons already diagnosed with psychiatric illnesses. For example, hypo- or hyperglycemia can present with symptoms of anxiety, while depression may be an early sign of pancreatic carcinoma. To identify and treat […]

Chapter 7: Sleep

Introduction On March 4, 1984, an 18-year-old woman named Libby Zion died at Cornell Medical Center’s New York Hospital. The cause of death was a drug–drug interaction, which occurred when an opioid (meperidine) she was given in the emergency room interacted with a prescription antidepressant (monoamine oxidase inhibitor) she had been taking. Her father, Sidney […]

Chapter 8: Psychodynamic Factors in Behavior

Introduction Psychodynamic theory is based on the idea, cast by Sigmund Freud and modified later by others, that behavior is influenced by forces derived from processes of which individuals are not aware. Although these unconscious forces keep thoughts and emotions out of consciousness, they are at the same time dynamic and affect peoples’ choices, emotions, […]

Chapter 9: Learning Theory

Introduction In Freudian theory, normal and abnormal human behavior result from conscious and unconscious mental forces (see Chapter 8). In the behaviorist view, behavior results from adaptive and maladaptive learning. For example, the psychoanalyst believes that a 35-year-old woman’s unexplained, disabling fear (phobia) of animals is caused by a repressed frightening experience. The behaviorist claims […]

Chapter 10: Psychological Assessment of Patients with Behavioral Symptoms

Introduction The evaluation of patients who show abnormal behavior typically occurs in the context of the clinical interview (see Chapter 24). The psychiatric history and structured instruments, such as the mental status examination (MSE) and Beck Depression Inventory (BDI), are also used in the evaluation of such patients. Evaluation instruments can be administered to an […]