Jennifer Lee Tackett, Robert F. Krueger

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary


Psychopathology is often defined as the presence of mental illness or disease, but as a research endeavor, psychopathology can be understood more broadly to refer to the study of abnormal behavior. Defining behavior as abnormal, such that it might be termed a mental disorder, is an inherently challenging endeavor. The current edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition, Text Revision (DSM-IV-TR) defines a mental disorder as a psychological dysfunction that produces distress or impairment in functioning in the individual, while acknowledging that the boundaries of a term such as “mental disorder” are unclear. The behaviors constituting a mental disorder are conceptualized as a syndrome or pattern that represents a dysfunction in a behavioral, psychological, or biological aspect of human functioning.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationEncyclopedia of Human Development
EditorsNeil J Salkind
PublisherSage Publications, Inc.
ISBN (Electronic)9781412952484
ISBN (Print)9781412904759
StatePublished - 2005


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