Author Pamilla Ramsden presents a thorough understanding of abnormal psychology for undergraduate students with a focus on the integration of psychology, biology and health. Understanding Abnormal Psychology: Clinical and Biological Perspectives goes beyond a descriptive overview of clinical disorders to provide a critical appreciation of the multifaceted aspects of mental illness. Each disorder is clearly and succinctly explained with the support of case studies. These examples are then used to introduce students to the debates surrounding current research, the biology of abnormal disorders and standards of treatment. The bridge between the biological elements of brain functioning and the psychological mechanisms that are responsible for coping and adjustment is thoroughly explored. This valuable consideration of the range of elements involved in the diagnosis and treatment of clinical disorders gives students a broad and critical understanding of this complex and fascinating field.

Genetics and Environmental Factors

Genetics and environmental factors

Learning aims

At the end of this chapter you should be able to understand:

  • Mendel's laws
  • Various genetic disorders
  • How the environment interacts with genetics
  • The genetics of abnormal disorders.


Case Studies

Michael's Story

An unfortunate wrongful adoption case highlights the important role that genetics can play in the lives of people and the decisions that they base on genetic information. A young New York couple adopted an infant from the Louise Wise Adoption Services. At the time of the adoption they were told that the birth mother had completed two years of college. She was placing her child up for adoption because of unfortunate circumstances. Her fiancé had died suddenly and in her grief she had become pregnant in an impulsive rebound love ...

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