Diathesis Stress Model

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Diathesis-Stress Model There is a long-standing argument over whether mental illness can be inherited or if it is produced by the psychosocial and environmental factors one may be exposed to during the course of their life. This predisposition to a psychological abnormality can be explained through the Diathesis-Stress Model. According to our online lecture, the Diathesis-Stress model proposes that both biological and genetic factors (“nature”) and life experiences (“nurture) govern our behavior patterns. The nature would include genetic tendencies passed on from our parents and/or inherited hormone imbalances among other things. The nurture would include where we live and how we were raised. This model then requires the individual to be exposed to a situation that causes an extreme internal or external stressful response (Comer, 2013). Therefore, it is not enough that an individual be born into a legacy of stress or anxiety, but they must also have experienced a significant amount of stress due to environmental factors. The impact of environmental factors on an individual predisposed to stress was examined in several studies. While each study focused on a different cause and effect, the outcome demonstrated strong links between the family and environment and medical illnesses. One study shows a link between poverty and mental health. In an audio podcast discussing this study, it was concluded that children born into an impoverished lifestyle had more mental health issues as well as corresponding behavioral issues (National Public Radio, 2003). Some critiques of the Diathesis-Stress Model claim that being born into poor conditions does not satisfy the criteria to be included under this model. However, another study links the stress experienced by pregnant mothers to their newly birthed offspring, which would satisfy the genetic inheritance component
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