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Abnormal Psychology in the Hundred Acre Wood


Antoinette Miller
Psychology Department
Clayton State University


In 2000, Sara E. Shea and co-authors published "Pathology in the Hundred Acre Wood: A neurodevelopmental perspective on A.A. Milne" in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. That article gave provisional "diagnoses" to Christopher Robin and his companions under the then-current Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (DSM)-IV criteria. For example, Winnie-the-Pooh was diagnosed as suffering from ADHD (inattentive subtype) and Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD), while Piglet's condition fell under the heading of Generalized Anxiety Disorder. This case study is based on that article in order to make discussion of difficult topics more accessible and less threatening without minimizing their importance and seriousness. Students in abnormal psychology or other psychology classes will use various explanatory models including behavioral, biological, cognitive, psychodynamic, humanistic-existential, and sociocultural to discuss possible contributing factors and treatment options (appropriate to an undergraduate class) for these and other inhabitants of the forest. The case also provides resources for students to discuss the 2013 transition from the DSM-IV to the DSM-5, and the changes in the diagnostic system inherent in the new edition.

  • Describe a variety of psychological disorders as defined in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders (both the previous and the current versions).
  • Critically evaluate different explanatory models of mental disorder, including behavioral, biological, cognitive, humanistic-existential, psychodynamic, and sociocultural, and apply each to attempt to explain specific disorders.
  • Describe and explain some of the issues surrounding the new DSM-5 and how it differs from the previous edition in the way it characterizes certain disorders.
Keywords: Diagnosis; models; therapy; abnormal psychology; Diagnostic and Statistical Manual for Mental Disorders; DSM
Topical Area: N/A
Educational Level: Undergraduate lower division, Undergraduate upper division
Formats: PDF
Type/Method: Analysis (Issues), Jig-Saw
Language: English
Subject Headings: Psychology   Neuroscience  
Date Posted: 7/31/2014
Date Modified: N/A
Copyright: Copyright held by the National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York. Please see our usage guidelines, which outline our policy concerning permissible reproduction of this work.

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