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

East Baltimore
3rd Term
Mental Health
Academic Year
2023 - 2024
Instruction Method
Class Time(s)
M, W, 1:30 - 2:50pm
Auditors Allowed
Yes, with instructor consent
Available to Undergraduate
Grading Restriction
Letter Grade or Pass/Fail
Course Instructor(s)
Contact Name
Frequency Schedule
Every Year
Examines the major social, psychological, and developmental theories of mental and behavioral disorders. Covers frameworks that are guided by ecological systems theory and life course development. Includes psychological models such as behavioral, cognitive, personality, and social process theories. Reviews theories in light of ethnoracial and gender equity, in particular. Applies these theories to major mental and behavioral disorders of childhood, adolescence, and adulthood, including depression, anxiety, conduct disorders, and personality disorders. Includes guest lectures by other mental health faculty that are multidisciplinary. 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 to critically evaluate mental health research from multiple theoretical perspectives, especially socioecological and life course development perspectives;
  3. Identify the means by which structural ethnoracial and gender bias, social inequities, and racism undermine health and create challenges to achieving health equity;
  4. Draw upon theories to support mental health or services research (e.g., dissertations, grant applications).
Methods of Assessment
This course is evaluated as follows:
  • 15% Participation
  • 25% Group Presentation
  • 30% Written Assignment(s)
  • 30% Final Exam
Special Comments

This is the onsite section of a class that is also offered virtual/online. You are responsible for the modality of the class you are registering for.