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Social, Psychological, and Developmental Processes in the Etiology of Mental Disorders


East Baltimore
3rd term
Mental Health
3 credits
Academic Year:
2021 - 2022
Instruction Method:
Class Times:
  • M W,  1:30 - 2:50pm
Auditors Allowed:
Yes, with instructor consent
Grading Restriction:
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructor:
George Rebok

Consent required for undergraduate students only.


Examines the major social, psychological, and developmental theories of mental and behavioral disorders. Covers biopsychosocial frameworks such as the diathesis stress model, ecological theory, and life course development. Psychological models include behavioral, cognitive, personality, and psychodynamic theories. Covers social processes covered such as social stratification, social integration, social diffusion, social stress, social learning, social cognitive, and attachment. Applies these theories to major mental and behavioral disorders of childhood, adolescence, and adulthood, including depression, anxiety, conduct disorders, and personality disorders. Explores multidisciplinary areas, and includes guest lectures by other mental health faculty. Lectures highlight main issues from readings, provide additional information on theories, and apply reading and lecture materials to specific mental and behavioral disorders.

Learning Objectives:

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

  1. Describe the leading social, psychological, and developmental theories that serve as the foundation for public mental health research
  2. Develop skills that will help them critically evaluate mental health research from multiple theoretical perspectives
  3. Draw upon these theories to support their own mental health or services research (e.g., dissertations, grant applications)
Methods of Assessment:

Class participation/attendance = 10%; Two critical reading reflections = 40%; Class presentation = 10%; Final Exam = 40%

Instructor Consent:

Consent required for some students

Consent Note:

Consent required of undergraduates.

For consent, contact: