Obsessive compulsive disorder

PSYG2500 / PSYG5302 Abnormal Psychology

Final Take-Home Assignment [20% of Course Grade]

Spring Term 2021

No. of Pages: 08 (including this page)
Student Name (Number): __________________________________ ( )


  1. This paper consists of TWO sections:

Section A: Essay Questions (20 marks)

Answer ALL questions. Each question carries 20 marks.

Section B: Application Questions (80 marks)

Answer ALL questions. Each question carries 40 marks.

  1. Answer ALL questions in English on this word doc. (with your name and student ID); Your answers for each question in Section A and B should not exceed 1 page and 1.5 page respectively (No adjustment in font size & spacing), mark penalty will be given in exceeding this limit
  1. Save the word doc. in your Student ID and submit through Moodle;
  1. The submission deadline is 17th May (Monday) 11:59 pm. Zero marks will be given to late submission or unidentified document (no file name/no name shown in the paper);
  1. Please work on this assignment alone. Severe mark penalty will be given if your paper is highly similar to others. A student who is found to have committed an act of academic dishonesty such as plagiarism, submission of material(s) for assessment which is not the student’s own work, the use of fabricated or copied data for assessment, shall receive an F grade for the course.

Section A: Application Questions (20%)

Attempt all questions – each question carries 20 marks.


  1. Due to current conditions of coronavirus, Alice believes that it is extremely important to be clean. She uses antibacterial soap and sterile water to clean her house daily, saying that she wants people to be able to eat off her floors and is very proud of the way she keeps it.

While Alice’s behaviors seem to be the manifestation of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, she was not suffering from any mental disorders. Briefly describe symptoms associated with Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (10 marks) and discuss why Alice is not suffering from it (10 marks).

Section B: Application Questions (80%)

In response to the following information, attempt all questions – each question carries 40 marks.


Kirk is a 20-year-old student studying in a prestigious college in the world, with a double major in Actuarial Science & Risk Management, currently in mental hospital. At the very beginning, he self-referred himself for counselling services due to emotional breakdown in relation to breaking up with his girlfriend in the same major. He didn’t like his major and got into constant battle with his father as he would like to change his major to Philosophy.

Kirk’s behavior had become increasingly odd during the past year, where he quit seeing his friends and no longer seemed to care about his appearance or social pursuits. He began wearing the same clothes each day and seldom bathed. Though he was visited by some of his close friends and supportive teachers, he rejected to meet them. Kirk lived with several family members but rarely spoke to any of them. When he did talk to them, he said he had found clues that his college was just a front for an organized crime operation. He had been suspended from college because of missing many classes. His sister said that she had often seen him mumbling quietly to himself and at times he seemed to be talking to people who were not there. He would emerge from his room and ask his family to be quiet even when they were not making any noise. He did not want to eat the meal offered by the hospital staff and voiced concern that they might be trying to hide drugs in his food.

Additional information: Such symptoms were not caused by drugs or alcohol use. Kirk’ great-grandmother had had a mental illness while his mother left the family when Kirk was very young.

Based on your knowledge in Abnormal Psychology, assess the case above and answer the following questions:

  1. Etiology & Relevant Factors
    1. Distinguish between necessary, sufficient, and contributory causes, as well as protective factors in psychopathology (25 marks).
    2. Identify potential sufficient, contributory causes & protective factors with elaborations in better understanding Kirk’s current psychological distress (15 marks).
  1. Potential Clinical Diagnosis
  1. What would be the potential diagnosis of Kirk according to DSM-V’s classification (20 marks)?
  2. Discuss TWO possible etiological factors to Kirk’s condition (10 marks)
  3. Suggest TWO treatments with elaborations that might be beneficial to Kirk (10 marks)?



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