As the title of our blog suggests, these posts by College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS) faculty and special guests will engage, inform and challenge you in a myriad of ways. The posts reflect the diversity of our programs of study: degrees that are traditional (history), current (justice studies and communications), academic (English literature) and career-oriented (psychology, counseling, criminal justice and government). Here, there is something for everyone.
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By Kaylor Jones
Professional Writing and Psychology, Honors College

One of Grand Canyon University’s most popular psychology courses is abnormal psychology (PSY-470), in which students study the patterns of mental illnesses and abnormal behaviors. Specific topics include the symptoms, diagnoses and treatment of various psychological syndromes. One mental illness that is frequently seen in popular culture is antisocial personality disorder, likely due to the potential to create a complex, timeless villain that exhibits symptoms of the psychopathic disorder.

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If you’re already thinking about becoming a life coach, then you probably know that the title of this blog post is a little misleading. See, there is no typical day for a life coach. That’s one of the best things about a job like this, especially if you’re someone who values flexibility, has great time management skills and is motivated to succeed.

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By Kennedy Lane
Professional Writing Major, College of Humanities and Social Sciences

If you are the type of person who enjoys learning about human behavior and why we do the things we do, then psychology is definitely a degree option for you. Grand Canyon University has multiple different options for directions you can take your psychology degree, one being in Psychology with an Emphasis in Performance and Sport Psychology.

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Years ago, climate scientists predicted the loss of sea ice, the rise in sea level, more intense heat waves and more frequent and devastating natural disasters. Today, we’re already seeing these predictions come true. But what about some of the lesser-known effects of climate change? As an aspiring psychologist, it might interest you to know that climate change can affect the mental health of your future clients.

Climate Change Causes Frequent, More Severe Natural Disasters

Scientific research has proven that a global temperature increase of just a couple of degrees causes natural disasters to occur more frequently and with greater severity. Among these climate change-induced disasters include:

  • Intense, prolonged heat waves
  • Droughts
  • Wildfires
  • Floods
  • Large storms, including hurricanes

From the Russian heat wave of 2010 to the more recent California drought, it’s now scientifically possible to link specific natural disasters to changes in global climate. And each time a natural disaster strikes, mental health professionals observe a lesser known phenomenon: The spike in mental health disorders caused by climate change-related events. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), 50 percent or more of the population affected by natural disasters will develop “clinically significant distress or psychopathology.” This figure is based on studies of major natural disasters, like the Armenian earthquake, Hurricane Andrew and the mudslides in Mexico. Following a natural disaster, individuals can develop:

  • Major depression
  • Generalized anxiety disorder
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)

In the immediate aftermath of a natural disaster, individuals may display signs of trauma, such as:

  • Confusion
  • Flashbacks
  • Fear of a repeated event
  • Mood swings
  • Sleeping or eating issues
  • Withdrawn, avoidant personality or an increase in conflict
  • Physical symptoms (chest pain and headaches)

Climate Change Can Lead to Increased Physical Health Ailments

There is a vast body of research that evaluates how climate change can affect public health. Many of these health effects are already being documented around the world, such as increasing incidences in:

  • Infectious diseases (such as those spread by mosquitoes)
  • Diarrheal diseases (caused by contaminated water)
  • Heat stress (and subsequently, cardiovascular distress and renal diseases)
  • Type 2 diabetes (caused by the effects of heat on blood sugar regulation)
  • Allergies and asthma (triggered by air pollution)

All of these physical health ailments might seem unrelated to mental health. But as an aspiring psychologist, you probably already know that physical health and mental health are intricately linked. People who suffer from severe or chronic physical health problems are more likely to suffer a decline in quality of life and behavioral health. They are more susceptible to depression, anxiety and negative thought patterns.

Climate Change Can Lead to Increased Acts of Violence and Unrest

Psychologists often work with survivors of crime. These individuals suffer from a range of mental health issues, including depression and PTSD. It’s possible that psychologists will see increased numbers of crime survivors as a result of the changes brought on by a warming Earth. This is because global climate change, with its more intensive heat waves and droughts, can result in crop failures and food shortages. Climate change can also lead to economic downturns. Both of these consequences fuel spikes in crime rates.

When you enroll in Grand Canyon University, you can choose from a variety of modern degree programs in psychology and counseling. These include Bachelors of Science in Counseling, Psychology, Behavioral Health Science, and Sociology. Look for the Request More Information button at the top of the website to explore our available degrees and become acquainted with our Christian campus.


By Kennedy Lane
Professional Writing Major, College of Humanities and Social Sciences

If you are looking to work in public relations after graduation, employers are looking for people who have a degree in communications, English or business. Grand Canyon University offers all of these and the college of humanities and social sciences offers communications and English degrees.

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