The interactionist approach to schizophrenia


The interactionist approach to schizophrenia

  • The interactionist approach is an approach that acknowledges that there are biological, pschological and societal factors in the dev of schz
  • Bio factors- genetic vulnerability, neurochemical and neurological abnormality
  • Psych factors- stress from life events and daily hassles

Explaining the interactionist approach: The diathesis-stress model

  • The diathesis-stress model says that both a vulnerability to schz and a stress-trigger are necessary in order to develop the condition
  • One or more underlying factors make a person particularly vulnerable to developing schz but the onset of the condition is triggered by stress
  • Meehl's model
  • Diathesis was entirely genetic, the result of a single schizogene
  • Led to the development of a biologically based schizotypic personality, one characteristic of this is sensitivity to stress
  • According to Meehl, if a person does not have the schizogene then no amount of stress will lead to schz
  • In the carriers of the schizogene, chronic stress through childhood and adolescence could result in the dev of schz
  • The modern understanding of Diathesis
  • It is now clear that there are many genes that each appear to increase genetic vulnerability slightly
  • Psychological trauma is now seen as the diathesis, not the stressor
  • Read proposed a neurodevelopmental model in which early trauma alters the developing brain
  • The hypothalamic-pituitary adrenal system can become over-active, making the person much more vulnerable to later stress
  • The modern understanding of…


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