Field: Social Science

A. Psychopathology for Social Work Practice Signature Diagnostic Learning Assignment


Signature Diagnostic Learning Assignment will be utilized in this course. The completed assignment will be worth 100 points. Please read the full details on the Signature Diagnostic Learning Assignment on the Blackboard system when the assignment opens up.

The purpose of this assignment is to provide you an opportunity to deepen your knowledge of a selected mental disorder of interest to you. You are to select a mental disorder from the DSM5 and then develop a paper that addresses the following content areas noted in these directions. This paper will address a) Overview of (the Disorder), b) Importance of the Assessment Process, c) Across Systems Impact, d) Evidence-Based Practices for Interventions of (the Disorder), and e) Conclusion and Recommendations.

Your paper should follow APA guidelines. Use headings that match the required components of this paper and subheadings as appropriate for organizing the content of your paper. The length of the paper should be from eight to ten pages (not counting reference page). A minimum of 15 scholarly references should be used in your paper. The use of APA format is required, along with at least 15 scholarly references to support the student’s work. Our course textbook and the DSM-5 can be used as references along with other scholarly articles specific to the disorder selected.

Assignments will be submitted directly to Blackboard and put through Turnitin to adhere to Academic Integrity and Plagiarism policies. Late assignments will receive a lower grade. There will be no opportunity to re-write assignments after they have been graded. This is a one-time submission.

Assignment Headers and Components

1. APA Style Paper (Cover page, Abstract or introduction, Body of text (headers and sub-headers), and References page)

2. Minimum of 10 scholarly references on the selected Disorder (including the DSM5)

3. Headers include: Abstract or Introduction; Overview of the Disorder; Importance of the Assessment Process, Across Systems Impact; Evidence-Based Practices for Interventions of the Disorder; and Conclusion and Recommendations. (See more descriptive information below)

4. Page length is eight to ten pages double-spaced includes the cover page but not the references page

5. This Signature Assignment will be posted on Blackboard by the due date

6. Late assignments will receive points off at the time of the late submission

You will be graded on how in depth you discuss your selected disorder under each of the heading components:

1. Cover Page – include all APA information for a standard Cover Page. For the name of this assignment please use: 760 Signature Assignment: Major Depressive Disorder or whatever Disorder you selected (this is an example only)

2. Introduction or Abstract – prepare the reader for the purpose of the paper and what to expect or why this disorder?

3. Overview of the Disorder – Identify and discuss the selected mental disorder. Discuss the essential features of the mental disorder, including its prevalence in general as well as within any particular populations. Include diversity features (e.g., race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, disability, or social class) that impact how the disorder presents or how it might be interpreted in assessment (differences in children, adolescents, and/or adults). While this section of the paper should reference the DSM5, you should also demonstrate additional depth of knowledge through review and citation of the literature about the mental disorder.

4. Importance of the Assessment Process – Identify the presenting symptoms involved in assessing clients who have for the selected mental illness. If you were serving as a social worker on an interdisciplinary team or multidisciplinary team (such as one agency with multiple staff members involved in the client’s overall treatment process, medical team, hospital setting, hospice center, criminal justice system setting where other positions might dictate outcomes for diagnosis, treatment, etc.), what would be the unique social work focus you would bring to the assessment process? Explain how the client’s biopsychosocial history informs the assessment information gathered (consider how the complete history of the client will inform the assessment sections entirely especially the family dynamics; substance abuse; history of trauma and other abuses; employment history; spirituality; as well as previous mental health)? How would an empowerment, humanistic, biological, psychological or sociocultural perspective influence your approach to assessment? The goal here is to identify with what behaviors, signs and symptoms clients would be experiencing with their selected disorder (and match criteria in the DSM5).

5. Across Systems Impact – Address the impact of the chosen mental disorder from a systems perspective (i.e., the impact of the disorder on the individual relative to his or her family system (impact on the family system including any predispositions or generational impacts), the broader community and social systems (church or spiritual system, social and peer system, vocational rehab, etc.), and the organizational/institutional systems (alcohol and drug commissions (inpatient,



outpatient, rehab systems, hospitals, etc.), criminal justice systems (monitoring, punishment, rehabilitation, reform, etc.) with which the person would likely interface.

6. Evidence-Based Practices for Interventions – Review empirical studies that collectively point toward practice theories and methods that are congruent with evidence-based intervention with individuals who have the selected mental disorder. If intervention methods have changed over time, address those changes (for example in treating depression, alternative medications used or components of DBT). Also, address pertinent elements of social work ethics and diversity that would differentially impact intervention methods. This component of the paper should clearly demonstrate your understanding of the research literature and its influence in directing evidence-based practice relative to the selected mental disorder. The textbook discusses the evidence-based practices associated with each disorder that should match the research and also assist with understanding the need for evidence-based practice by disorder; as well as familiarize them with components of each practice (and changes such as trauma-informed care perspectives).

7. Conclusions and Recommendations – Here you can be specific about what the research says about the selected disorder (future implications, research, treatment, medications, practice, etc.); if you were a policy or legislative social worker, what changes would you propose to help classify and/or treat those with your selected disorder? You can also include here your summary of what you learned about the disorder you selected.

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