Research Paper: Abnormal Behavior What Essentially Qualifies

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[. . .] Therefore any one of these four definitions alone would be lacking as a qualifier of what constitutes "abnormal behavior" but used together they can provide useful guidelines as to what qualifies as abnormal. This is essentially the approach of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) when developing the diagnostic criteria for the DSM series (APA, 2000).

Abnormal behavior for me is defined in terms of its departure from statistical and social norms and also by its maladaptiveness for the individual (the behavior results in aversive consequences ranging from social, physical, legal, occupational, and/or personal negative results). Despite these consequences the person continues to engage in the behavior. For me both of these qualifiers need be present. For me, I found myself drinking heavily at one stage of my life. Within my culture heavy drinking is considered "normal"; however, when the drinking leads to issues with one's social and occupational obligations it is no longer normal. I found that drinking several nights a week interfered significantly with other aspects of my life such as work, school, and family obligations. While drinking alcohol itself is not abnormal in society, I found my drinking habits to be quite dysfunctional given my goals and therefore would classify my use of alcohol as "abnormal." This resulted in personal efforts to correct this behavior and bring it more in line with balancing out my life.


American Psychiatric Association (2000). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental

Disorders, IV- Text Revision. Washington, DC: Author.

Porter, R. (2002). Madness: A brief history. New York: Oxford University Press.

Szasz, T. (2008).…

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Cite This Research Paper:

APA Format

Abnormal Behavior What Essentially Qualifies.  (2012, April 9).  Retrieved December 7, 2019, from

MLA Format

"Abnormal Behavior What Essentially Qualifies."  9 April 2012.  Web.  7 December 2019. <>.

Chicago Format

"Abnormal Behavior What Essentially Qualifies."  April 9, 2012.  Accessed December 7, 2019.