origins of mental illness
One-Week Summer Science Program
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Can teens catch eating disorders from their friends?
Is parenting style linked to depression?
Can occasional binge drinking result in Fetal Alcohol Syndrome?
This program takes students on a riveting journey through the root causes of both common and esoteric mental disorders. Use karyotypes to diagnose disorders such as Fragile-X Syndrome and Klinefelter’s Syndrome that result from missing or visibly “broken” chromosomes. Create pedigree charts to unravel whether newly identified disorders are heritable. Track the spread of eating disorders in emerging countries in the wake of TV shows and ads that glamorize thinness. Review popular films for their accuracy in portraying the etiology of mental disorders. Evaluate research on whether there is a link between vaccines and Autism.
Turning to sociopathy, can individuals be born evil? Or is their abhorrent behavior a result of child abuse, brain injuries, or even volitional decision?
We will explore the role of gender, socialization, “biological clocks,” and socioeconomic status in the onset of mental disorders.
Note: this page represents our best expectations for the program we will deliver, but is subject to change. We will update this page as new information becomes available.
Instructor: Ms. Sarah Swanson
Ms. Swanson is a Ph.D. Candidate at the University of Massachusetts, conducting extensive research. She also currently works as a Mental Health Therapist for students attending Rhode Island College. Before moving to the Boston Area, Ms. Swanson earned both her Bachelor’s and Master’s from Gonzaga University, where she played Division I Soccer.
‘The thing I liked was that we went over what I was really interested in. For instance, Abnormal Disorders and Schizophrenia. Another thing was that we watched a video of symptoms of people with Schizophrenia and ADHD. We also watched a video and did some case studies, which was my first time doing that.’
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