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Models of Psychopathology. Examining the Diathesis. Classic Question: Which is more important, heredity or environment? (main effects model) Evolution to: both are important, they both influence one another (essentially the interactionist model)

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examining the diathesis
Examining the Diathesis
  • Classic Question: Which is more important, heredity or environment? (main effects model)
  • Evolution to: both are important, they both influence one another (essentially the interactionist model)
  • New concept: nature and nurture anre intricately connected; rather than asking which is more important, how do nature and nurture interact to produce behavioral development. (essentially an interactive multiplicative model)
interactive multiplicative
  • Nature and nurture are both fully involved in providing a source of any behavioral development;
  • They can not function in isolation;
  • Their interaction is multiplicative; the presence of each source is intertwined with the presence of the other source; the product of the nature/nurture interaction;
  • This is the transactional model
more nature nurture
More nature/nurture
  • Nature never affects behavior directly; always in the context of an environment;
    • We don’t inherit behavior; we inherit DNA
    • Genes place constraints on behavioral development but we don’t always know the extent of the constraints
  • Environment never directly produces behavior; it shows variations in effects depending on the heredity-related characteristics of the organism;
    • Environments can be internal or external
research designs
Research Designs
  • Children and parents share 50% of genes
  • Siblings share 50% of their genes on average;
  • Fraternal of DZ twins share 50% of their genes;
  • MZ twins share 100% of their genes;
research designs contd
Research Designs contd.
  • Twin method: Compare MZ with DZ twins
  • Family method
  • Adoptions method
  • Twins Reared Apart
diathesis stress models
Diathesis-Stress Models
  • Diathesis: A constitutional disposition or predisposition to some anomalous or morbid condition, ‘which no longer belongs within the confines of normal variability, but already begins to represent a potential disease condition’
    • All suggest a vulnerability, necessary but not sufficient
    • All serve as an antecedent to the pathological condition
    • All disorders are polygenic
biological variables
Biological Variables
  • Biological Variables differ in their stability over time;
  • Vulnerability Marker: a biological characteristic that does not change with the disorder;
  • Episode Marker: Abnormal during the acute stage of the disorder but change back to normal when the patient is recovered;
  • Mediating vulnerability marker: Deviant during remission but even more abnormal during episodes
transmission of schizophrenia risk an example of diathetic complexity
Transmission of Schizophrenia Risk: An example of diathetic complexity
  • Schizophrenia in mothers is a generalized rather than specific risk for psychiatric illness;
    • In one study 1/5 developed a psychotic disorder (including schizophrenia)
    • 1/5 developed schizotypal personality disorder
    • ¼ developed some other psychiatric disorder
  • There is an interplay among the biological, psychological and social-contexual aspects of normal and abnormal lifespan development
early markers
Early Markers
  • Developmental abnormalities in at risk children (HRsz) are early risk indicators of schizophrenia;
  • Social and emotional difficulties
    • Some evidence for increased emotional problems and poorer social competence
  • Neurodevelopmental problems
    • Impairments seen in sustained attention
    • Boys were much more vulnerable
early markers contd
Early Markers contd.
  • Clinical symptoms
    • More likely to have higher psychoticism scores earlier in adulthood
methodological issues
Methodological Issues
  • Small samples
  • Unrepresentative samples
  • Adopted away children may be more vulnerable
  • HRsz children are often exposed to a range of advere envioronmental influences
  • Many mothers with schiz also have depression
mediators moderators
  • Require at least three variables—predictor, criterion and intervening
  • Specifies the conditions under which a given effect occurs and well as the conditions under which the direction or strength will vary
  • Often fixed like sex, race or class
  • It is an interaction effect
  • The nature of the impact depends on the value of the moderator
  • Specifies how (or the mechanism by which) a given effect occurs
  • The independent variable ‘causes’ the second variable which then causes the outcome
  • The relationship between the predictor and outcome is reduced to nonsignificant with the addition of the mediator
  • Initially the predictor and outcome need to be correlated