Abnormal psychology is often a core course in both undergraduate and postgraduate psychology programs across North America, Europe, and Australasia. The vast majority of abnormal psychology textbooks come from the United States of America (US). This academic focus on US abnormal psychology is not surprising given the relatively large number of people living in the US, that it is ranked third in terms of country population in the world, and is the most populous country in which English is the primary language spoken (Statistics Times, 2016; United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs/Population Division, 2015). Additionally, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.; DSM-5; American Psychiatric Association, 2013) originates from the US. The available US resources are, understandably, US-centric and contain mostly US statistics and applied examples. Furthermore, if reference to community resources is made these are likely to be US-based and not accessible, or of low relevance, to Australasian populations.
There are few abnormal psychology resources that present Australian and New Zealand (NZ) materials including statistics, case studies, and community resources. Recent Australian-focused resources include a special issue published by Pelling (2015) in the International Journal of Mental Health. Further, there are both Australian- and NZ-based authors publishing practice- and education-relevant abnormal psychology resources. However, up until now no resource has existed detailing the Australian and NZ experience and response to abnormal psychology matters in a succinct and applied manner. This handbook on abnormal psychology in the Australian and NZ context is designed specifically to make such academic and applied abnormal psychology resources available.
This handbook has been compiled to include material by lead researchers and applied practitioners from Australia and NZ. Consequently, the resulting resource is valuable to both students of abnormal psychology and also applied mental health practitioners across Australia and NZ. We hope you enjoy reading and making use of this handbook which purposefully highlights and showcases our Australasian research and practice relating to abnormal psychology.
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