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Doody's Review ServiceReviewer: Michael Joel Schrift, DO, MA (University of Illinois at Chicago College of Medicine)
Description: This is the second edition of this interesting theoretical book on an evolutionary understanding of psychopathology. Written by clinician-researchers in the field, this book is a valuable contribution to the literature.
Purpose: The purpose, according to the authors, is to update the original text with new material on the chapters covering pedophilia and research. In addition, changes were made on schizotypal personality disorder and the group selection theory of schizophrenia.
Audience: The intended audience, although not stated by the authors, is psychiatrists, psychologists, and psychopathology researchers.
Features: The book features 310 pages divided into 6 sections and 22 chapters, including a glossary, bibliography, and index. Part I is an overview of evolutionary psychiatry with chapters covering the historical background, development, principles of psychopathology, and a chapter on attachment theory. Part II covers disorders the authors theorize as deficits in attachment and rank: mood, personality, obsession, anxiety, and eating disorders. Part III relates evolutionary theory to so-called borderline states. Part IV covers schizophrenia conceptualized as a spacing disorder. Part V reviews homosexuality, sadomasochism, and pedophilia in relation to evolutionary theory. Part VI reviews dreams and sleep, psychiatric classification, treatment research, and a proposal for further developing this theory of psychopathology. References are up-to-date and the index and glossary sections are useful.
Assessment: This intriguing book relates psychopathology to evolutionary theory. There are some problems, such as the resurrection of Jungian theories and jury-rigging them to Darwin's theory. The authors also believe that medical model cannot incorporate evolutionary theory. That depends on your definition of the medical model. The basis of psychiatry is and will be in the future, neuroscience. Neuroscience incorporates evolutionary theory. Isn't that the medical model? Readers of this book will, without a doubt, be intellectually stimulated. I recommend it.