Defining Abnormality - Abnormal behavior


Abnormal behavior comes from many different backgrounds of all ages, cultures and religions. Abnormal Psychology is made of all different factors and within those factors branch out into the abnormal behavior that is so many people. Personality is what shapes behavior and the cultural around a person no matter what age or religion can affect a person to start with abnormal behavior. In this paper one will find that age, cultural and religion does play a factor defining what abnormality is about.

What is normal and what is abnormal behavior?


Age is a huge factor in abnormal psychology and in defining and determining if there is normal or abnormal behavior being used. As we grow up and get older we change and we act differently, our age is a huge factor because with age we learn more and more and act differently and this can make our behaviors different as well and that is why age is a challenge to knowing if behavior is normal or abnormal.

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There are many challenges in determining normal from abnormal but age is definitely a big one and is looked at and considered before clarifying if a behavior is normal or abnormal.

When looking at someone’s behavior and trying to distinguish if it is normal or abnormal we must look at their age as well. Behaviors that might be abnormal at one age group might not be abnormal in a different age group (ccvillage. buffalo. edu, N. A. ). Someone who is an adult and in their thirties is less likely to act immature or childish, it is not normal, compared to someone who is seven and a child still.

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If an abnormal behavior is found then age is looked at, if this child has an abnormal behavior will he or she grow out of it as they age or do they need help?

These are a few things they look at and think about when age is involved. Age also determines whether or not a certain behavior can be trouble in the future. When trying to diagnosis someone’s behavior it is harder at a younger age and the age really needs to be looked at and taken into consideration to make sure that the behavior that is being diagnosed isn’t just something someone at that age might do. There are many challenges when diagnosing a behavior normal or abnormal but age is a big challenge that needs to be taken seriously and looked at carefully. Culture Culture and behavior are just like two clashing forces.

What one side feels is a normal behavior, the other side may identify as an abnormal behavior. Imagine going into a country that you are not familiar with. Being exposed to different environment and different ways of life can be difficult, and can even test the comfort zone. One country may have a variety of foods to choose from, while the other one may offer what the land has to give like rice, bread and even rats and bugs. Aside from experiencing other cultures, there is also the case of finding abnormalities and judging between normal and abnormal within our own communities.

Culture does not only include food differences, but can be a variety of other classifications like intelligence and social status. “Intelligence - there is a normal distribution of IQ scores. Those whose scores are 2 sd's below the mean of 100 are, by this definition mentally retarded (i. e. : abnormal)” (Ccvillage. buffalo. edu, N. A. ). There could be a situation where an immigrant begins school in his new country, and automatically he is stereotyped as a less intelligent person because of his cultural background. Finally, there is also the social norm, which is what all the normal people classify themselves as.

While children are advancing through grade school, they classify one another as normal or abnormal. The cool kids and the majority of the regular, less exciting kids would be classified amongst themselves as normal. The other children like the girl who picks her nose, the bad student in the classroom and sometimes even the really smart children would not fit amongst the social norm, and be classified as abnormal. “Someone who frequently violates these unwritten rules is seen as abnormal. This is a very powerful and persuasive definition. It is seemingly common-sense.

Norms are so deeply ingrained they seem absolute” (Ccvillage. buffalo. edu, N. A. ). Religion Religion creates another dimension of defining normal and abnormal behavior. Religion adds the dimension of morality. Religions consider immoral behavior to be abnormal behavior, and each religion has its own definition of immoral behavior. Abnormal behavior is behavior that is considered unusual for any given culture, society, or religion. Some religions consider tattooing and piercing the body is abnormal behavior while some cultures require tattooing and piercing as a right of passage.

A verse in the Bible states “ Ye shall not make any cuttings in your flesh for the dead, nor print any marks upon you: I am the LORD. (Leviticus 19:28)” Many religions, such as Christianity, use this verse to prove that tattooing and piercing is abnormal behavior and that it is immoral, while some Muslims receive a tattoo as proof they visited Mecca. A major challenge involving religion and abnormal behavior involves the Roman Catholic Church and exorcism. According to Margoni, L, children who are abused, mistreated, or rejected by parents or siblings, may become possessed by an evil spirit and be in need of exorcism.

The child might exhibit abnormal behavior by abusing drugs and alcohol, and may suffer from depression. A clinician would prescribe counseling and possibly medication for the child, and would be a very different treatment of the child than the child would receive from a priest. Many behaviors would be thought of as abnormal according to religious views, societal/ cultural and clinical views, but the treatment could be very different. Many churches offer counseling for psychological and emotional problems and offer help that is in agreement with the beliefs of that particular religion.

Many other examples exist concerning the challenge of religion in defining abnormal behavior, and how religious beliefs sometimes contradict modern psychological views and science. Individuals must use common sense and seek out credible clinicians and religious leaders when in need of psychological help. Conclusion Normal and abnormal behavior can be explained through different situations where one can be able to determine what I normal and abnormal. Age may determine certain behavior, a cultural background may determine different beliefs that may give off different emotions and even religions can determine a different way of worship.

Updated: Jul 20, 2021
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Defining Abnormality - Abnormal behavior. (2018, Sep 27). Retrieved from

Defining Abnormality - Abnormal behavior essay
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