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PSY 214 - West - Abnormal Psychology: Finding Background Information

Abnormal Psychology

Films On Demand

Films on Demand is a popular PCC Library subscription database which provides streaming video on various subjects.  Think of it like YouTube, without the funny cat videos.  Click on the link below to access the video database.  There are a number of videos on the subject of Abnormal Psychology.  If you are accessing them off-campus you will be asked to provide your MyPima username and password.

NOTE: These videos are better viewed by using the Firefox or Chrome browsers.

Brief Overviews - Encyclopedias



There are 2 databases that can get you started on gathering general, big-picture overviews about your topics, from specialized encyclopedias.

Gale Virtual Reference Library includes a number of specialized encyclopedias related to psychology:

  • The Gale Encyclopedia of Mental Health
  • The Gale Encyclopedia of Psychology
  • A Clinician's Handbook of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry
  • The Gale Encyclopedia of Mental Disorders
  • Encyclopedia of Disability
  • Complementary & Alternative Medicine
  • Addictions & Substance Abuse

Encyclopedia Britannica is a great all-around general database.

Abnormal Psychology definitions and topics

What exactly do we mean by "Abnormal Psychology?" How is it defined?  One succinct definition is:  A branch of psychology devoted to the study of the classification, aetiology, diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of mental disorders and disabilities. Also called psychopathology (Source:  Oxford Dictionary of Psychology)

The following topics are generally considered some parts of the field of Abnormal Psychology:

  • Anxiety disorders
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorders
  • Eating disorders
  • Impulse Control disorders
  • Depressive disorders
  • Trauma and Stress-related disorders
  • Sleeping disorders
  • Personality disorders
  • Schizophrenia spectrum
  • Dissociative disorders
  • Sexual dysfunctions
  • Other mental disorders

For a more authoritative, complete list visit the DSM-5 table of contents online, or the full-text of the book at the WC Library.

Using Keywords in Your Search

First, you need a research question or a research statement.  To begin your research, select the keyword(s) in your question/statement that are closest to your topic.

EXAMPLE:  What are the causes of excessive hand-washing?

What keywords could you use?

  • "hand washing" and excessive
  • "hand washing" and abnormal
  • "hand washing" and causes
  • "hand washing" and nerves
  • "hand washing" and anxiety
  • "hand washing" and "obsessive-compulsive disorder"
  • "hand washing" and OCD
  • "hand washing" and psychopathology

Your Librarian

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Rosanne Couston

Office: Northwest Campus, #C309

Phone: 520-206-7086