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Psychopathology for Public Health


East Baltimore
1st term
Mental Health
3 credits
Academic Year:
2021 - 2022
Instruction Method:
Class Times:
  • Tu Th,  1:30 - 2:20pm
Auditors Allowed:
Yes, with instructor consent
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructor:
Adam Spira

Examines the major mental disorders, emphasizing the current thinking regarding their essential features and their assessment in public health research. Class sessions include lectures by the instructor and by experts in particular disorders. Reviews best-practice non-pharmacological and pharmacological approaches to the treatment of disorders, and commonly-utilized measures in public health and clinical contexts, including self- and informant-report measures, clinician-administered scales, and structured interviews.

Learning Objectives:

Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

  1. Describe the history, structure, and limitations of current systems for classification of mental disorders, including the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM), Research Domain Criteria (RDoC), and alternative approaches
  2. Describe the presentations and key features of major psychiatric syndromes, including anxiety and mood disorders, schizophrenia, and others
  3. Describe current etiological perspectives for major mental disorders and explain how these disorders can co-occur with or reciprocally influence other health conditions in populations
  4. Identify best-practice non-pharmacological and pharmacological approaches to the treatment of disorders
  5. Identify appropriate measures for the assessment of particular disorders in public mental health research
Methods of Assessment:

This course is evaluated as follows:

  • 24% Quizzes
  • 13% Participation
  • 13% Attendance
  • 50% Final Exam

Instructor Consent:

Consent required for some students

Consent Note:

Consent is required for undergraduate students.

For consent, contact:

Special Comments:

This course blends traditional classroom time and outside-of-class activities with a corresponding reduction in class sessions. This class will meet twice a week. Students are expected to spend 8 hours a week on class work in addition to regular homework.