Descriptive and Theoretical Psychopathology

Wes Morgan, Ph.D.

303-B Austin Peay
Phone: 974-7167

To Seminar Schedule

Fall 2006

Required Texts:

        American Psychiatric Association. (2000). Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders: (DSM-IV-TR) (4th ed. rev.). Washington, D.C.: Author.

        Spitzer, R. L., Gibbon, M., Skodol, A. E., Williams, J. B. W., & First, M. B. (Eds.). (2002). DSM-IV casebook: A learning companion to the Diagnostic and statistical manual of mental disorders (4th. ed., text rev.). Washington, D.C.: American Psychiatric Association.

Course Description

573 Descriptive and Theoretical Psychopathology (3) The current psychiatric taxonomic system is examined. Theories of etiology for various diagnostic categories are presented. Examples from written case vignettes and recorded interviews. Preq: Admission to doctoral program in clinical psychology or consent of instructor. F

Course Objectives

1. The student is expected to develop a high level of proficiency in forming diagnostic impressions concordant with the current diagnostic system (DSM-IV-TR and/or ICD-10). Given adequate information and observations the student should be able to correctly classify disorders in agreement with recognized experts in the field. This amounts to learning a specialized language that will form the basis of communication among clinical and research workers in fields as diverse as psychological assessment, psychiatry, psychotherapy, epidemiology, cultural anthropology, taxonomy, neurology and psychopathology.

2. The student is expected to be familiar with various theories of etiology as applied to specific mental or behavioral disorders or anomalies and to be able to discuss these theories in the context of historical and current research findings. The student is expected to develop a basic working knowledge of biological, psychodynamic, and behavioral approaches to psychopathology. Emphasis will be placed on psychoanalytic, behavioral and biological theories of etiology as applied to specific disorders or anomalies.

Office Hours

TBA. Appointments with the instructor may be made at other times as well.


There will be two exams (a midterm and a final), each covering about half of the semester's work. Each exam will count equally toward the seminar grade. In total the exams will account for two-thirds of the semester grade. All exams will be due at 9:05 AM on the day indicated on the syllabus.

Seminar Presentations

Each student is make three presentations during the semester. The specific topics for each presentation can be found under "Presentation Assignments." The date of each presentation is given in the schedule below. Each presentation should be about 30 minutes in length. Discussion after the presentation is expected. The presentation should address the history of the disorder, current research, effective treatments, cross-cultural concerns and at least one example case history. Present and discuss recommended resources on the web. The presentations are to be oral and need not be written. Handouts, overheads, demonstrations, illustrations, etc. will be appreciated. The seminar presentations will count for one-third of the semester's grade.

Seminar Cancellations

The instructor has a very good record of meeting his classes despite adverse weather conditions. Please plan to attend if the University is open. Check the UTK Inclement Weather Page for official announcements and University policy concerning class cancellations.


The course grade will be based on seminar participation and presentations (one-third), and the exams (two-thirds).

At any time of the semester you may check your grades for the course at the Online@UT (Blackboard) website.


Accommodations and Adaptations

If you need course adaptations or accommodations because of a documented disability or if you have emergency information to share, please contact the Office of Disability Services at 191 Hoskins Library or 974-6087. This will ensure that you are properly registered for services.

Announcements & Changes

Check here often for announcements and changes.

Seminar Schedule and Readings

Aug. 28
Presentation Assignments
Seminar Planning and Requirements
History of Classification Systems
Mental Status Exam
Mental Status Examination
Sept. 4
(No Seminar) Labor Day  
Sept. 11
Introduction to the DSM-IV
Overview of Theoretical Approaches
DSM-IV-TR: Pp. xxiii-37
Sept. 18
Presentation 1.
Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder
Conduct Disorder
DSM-IV-TR: Pp. 39-180
Casebook: Group 1.
Sept. 25
Presentation 2.
Dementia of the Alzheimer's Type
Alcohol Dependence
Amphetamine Dependence
DSM-IV-TR: Pp. 181-295
Casebook: Group 2.
Oct. 2
Presentation 3.
Schizophrenia: Paranoid Type
Schizophrenia: Catatonic Type
DSM-IV-TR: Pp. 297-323
Casebook: Group 3.
Oct. 9
Presentation 4.
Delusional Disorder
Shared Psychotic Disorder
Schizoaffective Disorder
DSM-IV-TR: Pp. 323-343
Casebook: Group 4.
Oct. 16
Presentation 5.
Major Depressive Disorder
Bipolar Disorder
Dysthymic Disorder
DSM-IV-TR: Pp. 345-428
Casebook: Group 5.
Oct. 23
Presentation 6.
Specific Phobia
Social Phobia
DSM-IV-TR: Pp. 429-511
Casebook: Group 6.
Oct. 30
Midterm Exam
Presentation 7.
Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
Generalized Anxiety Disorder
Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
Casebook: Group 7.
Nov. 6
Presentation 8.
Conversion Disorder
Factitious Disorder
Pain Disorder
DSM-IV-TR: Pp. 513-533
Casebook: Group 8.
Nov. 13
Presentation 9.
Male Erectile Disorder
Anorexia Nervosa
DSM-IV-TR: Pp. 535-582
Casebook: Group 9.
Nov. 20
Presentation 10.
Primary Insomnia
DSM-IV-TR: Pp. 583-683
Casebook: Group 10.
Nov. 27
Presentation 11.
Borderline Personality Disorder
Schizotypal Personality Disorder
Antisocial Personality Disorder
DSM-IV-TR: Pp. 685-729
Casebook: Group 11.
Dec. 4
Presentation 12.
Culture-Bound Syndromes
DSM-IV-TR: Pp. 731-743, 897-903
Casebook: Group 12.
Dec. 8
10:15 AM--12:15 PM
Final Exam

DISCLAIMER: Any reference to a commercial product, process, service, company or organization is not an endorsement or recommendation of the instructor. The instructor does not necessarily subscribe to or support the views found on the linked sites, and it is recognized that some views may be of questionable value. Information found there is no substitute for competent professional consultation.

Additional Features:

Additional features of this course website, including a discussion board, gradebook where you can check your grades, and a calendar can be found at "Online@UT." You will need your NetID (username) and password to access these features.

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Wesley G. Morgan, Ph.D.
                    (please use "Psych 573" on the subject line)

Last revision: 16 August 2005