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Abnormal Psychology And Twins

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To distinguish between typical and atypical behaviours there are many factors that need to be considered such as an individual’s religion and culture, some individuals religious beliefs may mean they take part in celebrations that other cultures may find abnormal, this is classed as Ethnocentrism and is hard to avoid. However, statistics’ can be used to explain atypical behaviour as in all cultures, there are unwritten rules that we as humans abide by, therefor the behaviours presented by most of the people across all cultures will be classed as normal and will be accepted. The individuals who express different behaviours that may be deemed disruptive, antisocial or rare will be abnormal therefor their behaviour is classes atypical. As it is difficult to distinguish what atypical behaviour is, we look at what society class as typical behaviours and anything outside of that is classed as atypical (knoxmodernstudies 2012). Statistics show that 5% of the population express atypical behaviours. (tutor2u, n.d.) it is necessary to understand how much a behaviour needs to be different before it is class as abnormal, one example been if an individual has a higher or lower IQ then the average person then they would be classed as abnormal. It is important to understand that atypical behaviours are not all bad, as having an above average IQ would suggest some one may be a genius this would be good but also classed as atypical. Much of the population are classed as average as they follow the “normal” curve, following the bell curve theory, individuals that fall either side may be classed as having abnormal behaviours (Cherry, n.d)

Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition (DSM -5), DSM was originally published in 1952 and has since been revised and updated a multitude of times, DMS-5 is the latest addition which was revised in 2013. The DSM-5 has a total of 17 disorders categorised. (, 2019) DSM-5 is used by clinicians and psychiatrist to diagnose different psychiatric illnesses in both adults and children. The DSM-5 can also be used to recommend treatments. DSM-5 takes peoples symptoms and uses these symptoms to place individuals into categories. (Cherry, 2019). DSM-5 uses 5 different axes to diagnose abnormal behaviours, although this system uses a broader an in-depth look at an individual’s behaviours, to make a diagnosis individual must have attributes of Axis 1,2 and 3, however 4 and 5 are optional. Axis 1,2 and 3 look at an individual’s background, issues related to abuse, neglect, academic issues and phase of life problems along with personality disorders and an individual’s general medical condition, for example a medical condition that may affect an individual’s mental state. (Gross and McIlveen, 1996). International Classification of Diseases, Tenth Revision, this diagnostic system is used by physicians and ICD-10 is the latest addition to ICD and is also used by the NHS and is freely available worldwide, ICD 10 identifies 11 major categories, with in mental health disorders and looks at symptoms and uses these to categorise individuals in to groups based on their similarities and differences. (Gross and McIlveen, 1996) ICD-10 uses decision trees, like a flow chart and computer programs to help diagnose, it uses a coding system to identify each disorder.

Both ICD-10 and DSM-5 have been revised many times and somewhat overlap, they are both used to help in the diagnosis of abnormal behaviours. Both classification systems are currently in use. ICD-10 is used with in the NHS however they also look at the DSM-5 for guidance. DSM-5 has been criticised many times, due to its lack of reliability and validity, a study was carried out by William et al. (1992) the study looked at the reliability of the DSM , William et al, used pairs of clinicians who each interviewed 600 clients to see if they were able to agree on a diagnosis, the inter-rater reliability only ranged from 68-72 for Axis 1 disorders. (Guterman, 2017) Which assumes the DSM lacks reliability however, some clinicians still think the DSM-5 is a valid way to diagnose mental health disorders, they believe as it corresponds to the medical model which is solely based on a scientific view. A Study was carried out by Pihlajamaa et al (2008) who looked at the reliability of the ICD-10, it looked at its reliability in diagnosing schizophrenia. The study was carried out on a sample of 100 in and outpatients, the study provided good results supporting the ICD-10 reliability, 98% of patients received the correct diagnosis. (Jakobsen et al., 2005) however It has been reported that it takes an experienced coder 69% longer on ICD-10 than ICD-9. 17 minutes vs. 5 minutes per coding. This results in patients waiting longer for diagnoses and treatment and also has a massive cost increase (Renaldy, 2016) Both DMS-5 and ICD-10 are currently in use and most clinicians accept that these systems are useful, but there are many differences between the two, that is why at this time both classification systems are required. (Changes to ICD-10-CM Codes for DSM-5 Diagnoses, 2017).

Psychologists vary in how they look at abnormalities, some believe that psychological disorders may come from an unhealthy thought process. The biological model of abnormalities assumes that psychological disorders are a result of biological issues the biological model of abnormality assumes that psychological and behavioural abnormalities have biological causes. This means, when someone expresses abnormal behaviours something has gone wrong in the brain (, 2019). They believe that this is a result of a chemical imbalance within the brain. Often the chemical they believe is the cause of mental illness is a neurotransmitter – neurotransmitters are used to send a message from one nerve to another, there are different types of neurotransmitters, Excitatory neurotransmitters stimulate nerve activity, inhibitory neurotransmitters lower nerve activity. When there is an imbalance within these, mental disorders like depression may occur. (, 2019) it has been found for a multiple psychological disorders such as Schizophrenia, individuals with schizophrenia have been found to have different brain structures to other individuals, with smaller brains and higher-than-normal levels of dopamine…….. PET, CAT and MRI scans among others can be used to see what is accruing inside a patient’s head. (Boyd, N. 2019). Brain imaging is used mainly for research as it cannot diagnose a mental illness on its own. It can however be used to rule out other illness like brain tumours that my give similar symptoms to other mental health disorders. There are two main types of brain imaging structural – this method takes a snapshot image of the brain, including bone, tissue, blood vessels, tumours, infection, damage, or bleeding indicating a stroke. Functional imaging – this shows the brain’s activity and chemistry by measuring the rate of blood flow, chemical activity, and electrical impulses in the brain during specific tasks. Phycologists require further studies to be carried out, scientists will look at individuals with and without mental health disorders and compare how the brain functions differ. (Myria, 2014)

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This models also looks at genetic factors and hormonal imbalances and how they relate to mental health, as we inherit out genetics from our parents, any abnormality in the genes inherited could result in abnormal behaviours. The biological model is a favourite among psychiatrists’ as it is very scientific. This model has been favoured more by psychiatrists then phycologists.

The biological model looks at genetics and how they play a part in the diagnosing of schizophrenia. It appears that schizophrenia runs in families and genetic studies have shown that the risk of developing schizophrenia, is consistent with the number of genes we share. There have been studies carried out on twins both Monozygotic and dizygotic to has shown that monozygotic twins had a 50% concordance rate whereas dizygotic twins only had a 9% concordance rate although this doesn’t prove that schizophrenia is 100% down to genetics it does suggest that genetics play a part. (Yogi, 2019) The study was carried out in 1972 by Gottesman and Shields, Gottesman and Shields (1972) gathered there information from Maudsley and Bethtem Royal Joint Hospital, they had there sample contained 57 twin pairs – 24 MZ, 33 DZ, age range 19 – 64, to ensure there were identical blood and fingerprint testing were carried out. Gottesman and Shields (1972) used personality tests, personal questionnaires and a test used to measure disordered thinking. They ten analysed there data [;aced there patients on to either grade 1,2 or 3, patents in grade 1 both twins had been hospitalized and diagnosed with schizophrenia “Grade 1 – MZ = 42%, DZ = 9%” , grade 2 showed both twins had been hospitalised however had received different diagnoses “Grade 2 – MZ = 12%, DZ = 9%” grade 3 showed 1 twin had shown signs of abnormal behaviour and had received out patent treatment. “Grade 3 – MZ =25%, DZ = 27%” (Anon, 2019) There have been other studies carried out on adopted children and monozycotic twins this showed that adopted children of biological parents who had schizophrenia had a higher chance of developing schizophrenia, this study was carried out by Kety Et Al (1968) (Yogi, 2019)

The evidence shows that the concordance rate is higher in MZ twins and children of parents with a diagnosis of schizophrenia, however as the concordance rate is not 100% other factors like the environment must be taken in to account for example twins are usually treat the same and grow up in the same surroundings (Leo, 2006) The findings of these study only focused on twins therefore it can only be generalised to twins, however it can be generalised to all twins as a large number of both male and female twins were used ranging in age. The study had good reliability as it was carefully controlled, with many measures in place to gather data. (Anon, 2019) These studies support the theory that genetics plays a part in schizophrenia which in hand supports the biological model.

The downside to the Biological approach is there is no way of measuring someone’s subconscious mind. However, the biological model has a high success rate in treatment as it can use medication in the treatment of mental health disorders. when looking at the chemicals within the brain this has led to the production of a range of drug treatments that have helped in the treatment of a variety of mental health disorders, including schizophrenia although drugs only treat the biologically effects and does not take in to account the environmental factors (, 2019). As the biological model is scientific it has proven to be very reliable and practical.

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Abnormal Psychology And Twins. (2022, February 17). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 6, 2022, from
“Abnormal Psychology And Twins.” Edubirdie, 17 Feb. 2022,
Abnormal Psychology And Twins. [online]. Available at: <> [Accessed 6 Dec. 2022].
Abnormal Psychology And Twins [Internet]. Edubirdie. 2022 Feb 17 [cited 2022 Dec 6]. Available from:
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