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Christy Drummond Discussion Wk 1: Factors That Influence the Development of PsychopathologyCOLLAPSE

Factors That Influence the Development of Psychopathology

Psychopathology is defined as the study of mental illness. Culture, social, biological, and psychological factors can influence the development of psychopathology. For years researchers have studied humans to determine if genetic or environmental factors have a more significant impact on a person’s behavior. The better we can understand why a mental disorder develops, the easier it will be to find effective treatments (Cuncic, 2020). For this discussion post, I will identify different factors that influence psychopathology.

Biological (Genetic and Neuroscientific)

Biological factors affect psychopathology. According to Sadock et al. (2015), “The study of families with the use of population genetic methods over the last 50 years has consistently supported a genetic, heritable component to mental disorders.” Hereditary traits influence how a person will respond to different situations throughout their lifetime. The brain is comprised of many neurons and neurotransmitters that play a role in mental health disorders. Research has found 40-70% of a person’s cognition, temperament, and personality arise from genetic factors (Sadock et al., 2015). In addition, many factors (drug use, smoking, premature birth) during pregnancy affect a fetus’s biological makeup that can cause lifelong complications. Schizophrenia, depression, autism, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder are all neuropsychiatric conditions that originate during brain development (Sadock et al., 2015). Also, the way a person’s body reacts to medications used to treat these disorders is influenced by genetics. It is impossible to explain the influence biologics have on psychopathology in one discussion post; many detailed books have been written hundreds of pages long attempting to explain the phenomenon.

Psychological (Behavioral and Cognitive Processes, Emotional, Developmental)        

Psychological factors play a role in psychopathology. These factors can occur due to traumas such as childhood neglect, the death of an immediate family member, and abuse (physical, emotional, sexual). Physiological symptoms observed with psychopathology vary but can include changes in eating habits or mood, excessive worry, anxiety, distress, or fear, inability to concentrate, irritability or anger, low energy, sleep disturbances, and feelings of fatigue (Cuncic, 2020). Many times mental health disorders arise from the adverse effects during childhood or young adulthood. According to Masten & Kalstabakken (2018), “Community- or family-level violence can influence stress regulation systems within individuals.” These stress regulation systems can lead to mental health disorders, including addiction, anxiety, depression, or PTSD. Psychological trends have been studied in some individuals that make them more prone to drug or alcohol addiction.

Social, Cultural, and Interpersonal Factors

Psychopathology is also influenced by social, cultural, and interpersonal factors. According to Cheung & Mak (2018), “Emotional and behavioral disorders are closely tied to the social world.” Often, if a person acts outside what is considered socially normal, it is assumed there is something wrong with them. Factors including race, gender, culture, sexual preference, education level, and economic status can be associated with mental health disparities (Cheung & Mak, 2018). It has been discovered that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender populations are at an increased risk for suicide, traumatic stress reactions, major depression, and anxiety disorders (Molerio, 2018). A mental health provider must-know cultural differences in common populations. Social factors can have a substantial impact on mental health treatment. Some individuals may choose not to seek help because of the stigma surrounding mental health and the label that comes with having a mental health diagnosis.


Cheung, F. M., & Mak, W. W. S. (2018). Sociocultural factors in psychopathology. In J. N. Butcher & J. M. Hooley (Eds.), APA handbook of psychopathology: Psychopathology: Understanding, assessing, and treating adult mental disorders., Vol. 1. (pp. 127–147). American Psychological Association.

Cuncic, Arlin. (2020). An Overview of Psychopathology. Retrieved from

Masten, A. S., & Kalstabakken, A. W. (2018). Developmental perspectives on psychopathology in children and adolescents. In J. N. Butcher & P. C. Kendall (Eds.), APA handbook of psychopathology: Child and adolescent psychopathology., Vol. 2. (pp. 15–36). American Psychological Association.

Molerio, C. (2018). Culture and psychopathology: New perspectives on research, practice, and clinical training in a globalized world. Front Psychiatry.

Sadock, B. J., Sadock, V. A., & Ruiz, P. (2015). Kaplan & Sadock’s synopsis of psychiatry (11th ed.). Wolters Kluwer.

Alero Okundia Discussion Week 1COLLAPSE

Biological factors

The biological factors influencing the development of psychopathology involve those factors that have either organic or physical causes. Biological factors also involve factors that are associated with psychological disturbances such as genetic and neurological-neurotransmitters. Additionally, biological factors entail factors that directly affect an individual’s mental health such as prenatal damage, genetics, exposure to toxins, infections, and brain-related damage. Biological psychologists seek to establish how factors such as genetics, the chemical composition of brains influence human behavior (Tiwari & Gonzalez, 2018). Biological factors are known to impact how individuals think, feel, act as well as the development of psychology.

Psychological factors

Psychological factors influence the processing and development of thinking, behavior, and feelings throughout life. Psychological factors impact changes across three aspects, which include behavioral development, social-emotional development, and cognitive development (Martino & Vicario, 2019). Development psychologist, on the other hand, illustrates human growth and the associated changes across the lifespan concerning physical factors, cognitive, social intellectual, personality and emotional growth as well as the perceptual framework. Various research work, on psychological factors, has increased an understanding of different factors that influence mental, emotional, and behavioral development throughout human life from childhood to maturity. Additionally, it has been established that individuals’ factors, family, community, and social activities directly affect the children’s development.

Interpersonal factors

Interpersonal factors usually concentrate on family and various peer groups as well as the larger interpersonal scopes that illustrate the emergence of different disorders. Interpersonal factors alongside other factors such as the development of psychopathology, interacting and transacting levels as well as biological, emotional, cognitive, and contextual factors directly influence the risk of pathology. The said factors also impact integrative interpersonal aspects such as depression, anxiety, and other psychological disorders (Luyten, 2017). Interpersonal factors should however be enhanced by formulating factors that assure protection against psychopathology while closing the gap between interpersonal factors and protective measures to maximize a positive result across human development.


Tiwari, A., & Gonzalez, A. (2018). Biological alterations affecting risk of adult psychopathology following childhood trauma: a review of sex differences. Clinical psychology review66, 69-79.

Martino, G., Langher, V., Cazzato, V., & Vicario, C. M. (2019). Psychological factors as determinants of medical conditions. Frontiers in psychology10, 2502.

Luyten, P. (2017). Personality, psychopathology, and health through the lens of interpersonal relatedness and self-definition. Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association65(3), 473-489.

pls respond separately with 3 resources/references on each discussion.

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