Psychopathology Essay Prep - Eoin



Likely question types:

  • Compare and contrast - two or more aspects or treatments
  • Critically discuss - Criticism for whatever sources you use, but also pro and con for ideas


Collishaw (2015) - Clinical diagnosis and treatment of child and adolescent psychiatric disorders increased over recent decades.

McElroy - Average number of symptoms reported higher in those born at the turn of the millennium, compared with those born in the 1990s, 1970s, and 1950s 

Genetics / Heritability 

Wray (2012) - Traditionally, heritabilities have been estimated from families' info from specific hospital registers, but finding sufficient numbers of families can be difficult.

Flint (2014) - “Despite convincing evidence for a genetic contribution to disease susceptibility, there has been a dearth of substantive molecular genetic findings.” 

Caspi et al. (2013) - Serotonin transporter gene (5HTT) + Polymorphism (two short alleles). The specific combination of this and environmental stressors found to predict depression. 

Researchers found that:

  • 7.4% of total disease burden in 2010 attributed to mental health problems
  • Depressive disorders accounted for 40.5% of this (approximately 3% of all burden)
  • Genome-wide association studies – largely failed to identify specific genes associated with depression


Pizzagalli et al. (2014) - Anhedonia has emerged as one of the most promising endophenotypes (hereditary bio-marker) of depression. Pizzagalli et al. summarised animal data indicating that "stress negatively affects mesocorticolimbic dopaminergic pathways critically implicated in incentive motivation and reinforcement learning." 

Keren et al. (2018):

  • Meta-analysis of 38 fMRI and 12 EEG studies.
  • Consistent neural aberrations during reward processing in depression
  • Blunted neural response to reward, may be more pronounced in under 18's. 


Cromby (2013) - All experiences require biology, but…


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