Topics in Abnormal Behavior


Mon 1:30 – 4:30



Course Outline




Instructor : Gary Rockman                                                 

Office: 5L30

Phone: 204-786-9405      E-Mail:                                

Office Hours: Tues/Thurs: 10-11:00 a.m.

Course Web Site:             


Click here for Grades


Click here for PDF version of Course Outline



Course Description:

This course is an advanced level seminar in abnormal psychology. The focus of the course will be on recent research related to theories, diagnosis, demographics, etiology and treatment of abnormal behavior in children and adults.


Required Text:

There is no specific required text for this course. However, students will be expected to make extensive use of the research literature.


Course Requirements:



General Rules: During the first class (Sept 11), you will be assigned a Disorder, presentation order, etc.  Presentations will commence on Sept 18 (see schedule). All class members must present Topic 1 in week 2, Topic 2 in week 3, etc.  Each presentation will be approx. 12 minutes.


During each class students will be expected to:


1) present to class their findings for the current topic


2) provide each class member a written summary of their Topic for that day (max. 1 single spaced double sided typed page with references). Note that the content of the written summaries for Topics 3-8 are to be written using full sentences and paragraphs (not point form). References must be properly cited in the text (numbers can be used) and with a complete reference list.  The summaries are not to be merely a written version of your oral presentation. The summaries are designed to compliment your in class presentation.  This will further be discussed in class.


Presentations (total 9) will be worth 4 marks each for a total 36 (36 % of final grade).  Each seminar presentation will be graded as follows.  1) 2.5 marks for the content of the presentation and 2) 1.5 marks for the style of presentation, organization, etc. Summaries for each Topic (total of 9) will be worth 4 marks each for a total of 36 (36 % of final grade).


Class Test: There will be 1 test (see date below) covering summaries, seminars and class discussion material. The test will be made up of short essay questions and will be worth 13 % of the final grade.


Final Paper: A written paper (15 marks, max 5 pages single spaced including references) detailing and explaining the Psychological Treatment of your Disorder will be due on Dec 8, 2017 at 4:00 p.m. This paper is to be submitted to me by e-mail (as an attachment and I will confirm receipt). Hence, your final grade is based on the total marks earned above.




Tentative Schedule:




Week 1: Sept 11: Organization, Disorders assigned, problem solving, etc.



Week 2: Sept 18: Topic 1 presentations, Description of Diagnostic Features (DSM V)



Week 3: Sept 25: Topic 2 presentations, Description of Differential Diagnosis and Associated Features (DSM V)



Week 4:  Oct 2: Topic 3 presentations, Prevalence, Incidence, Demographics



 Week 5:               Oct 9 :  No class (Reading Week, Oct 9-13)



Week 6:  Oct 16: Topic 4 presentations, Biological I, (General Physiological Issues,

Genetics, non CNS)



Week 7: Oct  23: Topic 5 presentations, Biological II, (CNS Issues, Brain Imaging, Neurochemistry)



Week 8:  Oct 30:  Test # 1



Week 9:  Nov 6:  Topic 6 presentations, Psychosocial and Environmental Issues.



Week 10:  Nov 13:  Topic 7 presentations, Biological treatments



Week 11: Nov 20:  Topic 8 presentations, Psychological treatments



Week 12: Nov 27:  Topic 9 presentations, “Top 10 list”



Week 13:  Dec 4:  Spare class if required, course evaluations



Tentative Disorders:


1)  Autism Spectrum Disorders


2)  Tic Disorders - Tourette’s


3)  ADHD


4)  Opiate Use Disorder


5)  Cannabis Use Disorder


6)  Alcohol Use Disorder


7)  Gambling Disorder


8)  Major Depressive Disorder


9)  Bipolar I Disorder


10)  Panic Disorder


11)  Social Anxiety Disorder


12)  OCD


13)  PTSD


14)  GAD


15)  Hoarding Disorder


16)  Antisocial Personality Disorder


17)  Narcissistic Personality Disorder


18)  Borderline Personality Disorder


19)  DID


20)  Obesity


21)  Anorexia Nervosa


22)  Schizophrenia


23)  Gender Dysphoria


24)  Conversion Disorder


25)  Body Dysmorphic Disorder


26)  Insomnia Disorder


27)  Narcolepsy



N.B. There will be no “make-ups” for tests or seminars. However in extreme cases (i.e. death in  the family or extreme illness validated by a doctor), please contact me for  alternative arrangements. Failure to write tests, present your seminars, or handout summaries on time may result in a reduction of marks up to the total amount that each assignment is worth.



Attendance:  It is expected that all students attend all seminar presentations, not only because you are an Honours student interested in the topics but also to show support for your classmates



Example of Grading:


Test 1                                      11/13

Final Paper                              11/15

Seminar presentations              29/36

Summaries                               30/36


Letter Grade:    B+                 81/100  



Letter Grade Equivalents:


  A +          95 +

  A             85.0 - 94.9

  A -           83.0 - 84.9

  B +          80.0 - 82.9

  B             75.0 - 79.9

  C +          70.0 - 74.9

  C             60.0 - 69.9

  D             50.0 - 59.9

  F             49.9 - and below



University Regulations and Policies – Revised September 2017


Academic Dates, Regulations, and Policies from the UW 2017-2018 General Calendar see:


The voluntary withdrawal dates, without academic penalty:

Please be advised withdrawing before the VW date does not result in a fee refund, see:


November 10, 2017 for courses which begin September 5 and end December 4, 2017

February 14, 2018 for courses which begin September 5, 2017 and end April 4, 2018


The University is closed for holidays on:


 Sept. 4 (Labour Day); Oct. 9 (Thanksgiving Day); Nov. 11 (Remembrance Day)

there are no make-up dates for the Fall 2017 term.


The dates of the Fall mid-term Reading Week (no classes): Oct. 9-13, 2017


All work submitted must be either typed or text processed and you may be asked for photo I.D. when writing tests.


No equipment is authorized for use in tests/exams (e.g. calculators, dictionaries, hand-held devices, books), unless specified by the instructor prior to the test.


Please note that the grade distribution and letter grade equivalents are tentative and may be changed in either direction by (1) the professor, (2) the Departmental Review Committee, or (3) the Senate, when circumstances warrant.


It is important to note that only students University of Winnipeg email address ( will be used for course related correspondence


Please review the Regulations and Policies section of the Course Calendar dealing with academic regulations and policies including Senate appeals and academic misconduct (e.g. plagiarism, cheating).


Undergraduate students who plan to conduct minimal-risk research interviews, focus groups, surveys, or any other method of collecting data from any person, even a family member, must obtain the approval of the Departmental Ethics Committee before commencing data collection. (For greater-than-minimal-risk or Graduate student studies, approval of the UHREB is also required.) Exceptions are research activities in class as a learning exercise. For submission requirements and deadlines see:


         Students with documented disabilities, temporary or chronic medical conditions, requiring academic accommodations for tests/exams (e.g., private space) or during lectures/laboratories (e.g., access to volunteer note-takers) are encouraged to contact Accessibility Services (AS) at 786-9771 or email to discuss appropriate options. Specific information about AS is available on-line at All information about a student’s disability or medical condition remains confidential.


We ask that you please be respectful of the needs of classmates and instructors/professors by avoiding the use of unnecessary scented products while attending lectures. Exposure to scented products can trigger serious health reactions in persons with asthma, allergies, migraines or chemical sensitivities.  Please consider using unscented necessary products and avoiding unnecessary products that are scented (e.g. perfume).


         All students, faculty and staff have the right to participate, learn and work in an environment that is free of harassment and discrimination. The UW Respectful Working and Learning Environment Policy may be  found online at


         Students may choose not to attend classes or write examinations on holy days of their religion, but they must notify their instructors at least two weeks in advance. Instructors will then provide opportunity for students to make-up work and/or examinations without penalty. A list of religious holidays can be found at:


Students facing a charge of academic or non-academic misconduct may choose to contact the University of Winnipeg Students’ Association (UWSA) where a student advocate will be available to answer any questions about the process, help with building a case, and ensuring students have access to support. For more information or to schedule an appointment, visit our website at or call 204-786-9780