|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||Encyclopedia of Human Development|
|Editors||Neil J Salkind|
|Publisher||Sage Publications, Inc.|
|State||Published - 2005|
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.