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Walden University Development of Psychopathology Essay

Walden University Development of Psychopathology Essay


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Daniel Shawn Pitts 

YesterdayAug 28 at 5:41pm

The development of psychopathology is influenced by a multitude of factors including genetics, environment, social interactions, and culture. Individuals can have similar experiences but assimilate those interactions into their psyche differently. The purpose of this post is to explore how these factors can influence the development of psychopathology.

Biological: Genetic & Neuroscientific

It is well known that mental illnesses are more prevalent when there is a family history of mental illness. Although family history can increase the risk of a mental illness, it has been postulated that multiple factors enhance the risk of developing a mental illness (Giangrande et al., 2022).

The development of our psyche starts in utero. Many factors can influence the fetus’s development including maternal stress, exposure to noxious stimulus, and exposure to toxic substances such as alcohol, smoking, and drugs. It has been shown that mothers with high levels of stress are more likely to have hyperactive children (Bolan et al., 2022). Infants exposed to alcohol, smoking, and drugs are more likely be low birth weight, suffer from ADHD, intellectual deficiencies, and shun human contact (Bolan et al. 2022).

All in all, genetics, and exposures during the development of the human brain can influence a person’s future psychological development.

Psychological: Behavioral, Cognitive, Emotional, and Developmental Factors

Cognitive development as humans grow has a significant impact on their abilities to become resilient adults. It has been shown that children with repeated exposures to situations that threaten their well being such as parents with drug/alcohol problems, neglect, and parental separation reduce their abilities to adapt to stressful situations in the future (Rudd et al., 2021).

The ability to adapt and assimilate new information changes as individuals grow and mature. Normal progression of psychological adaptation occurs in most individuals. As people age, their interactions with others change and can influence how they react. For example, teenagers begin to identify with their peer groups more and may be influenced by to use alcohol/drugs, join a gang, or take unnecessary personal risks. Without strong family or community support, these individuals can suffer irreparable psychological damage.

Social, Cultural & Interpersonal Factors

Many factors overlap including social influences that occur during critical developmental phases. For example, parental separation via divorce during a small child’s early development. Other factors that influence a person’s development include socioeconomic status, race, religion, and gender. People with a large external community, such as those that routinely practice religion, are more likely to have good social support (Jacobs et al., 2012).

Social concerns are a growing concern for normal development of psychopathology. A leading concern is the use of social media. It has been reported that approximately 95% of adolescents are using social media and/or being online constantly (Nesi et al., 2021). This near constant connectedness can have lasting effects including anxiety, depression, and poor coping skills (Nesi et al., 2021). Social media is largely new phenomenon that is influencing how mental services are provided and received.


As discussed, there are multiple factors including many that are not controllable by the individual that can significantly influence their development of psychopathology. It is important to thoroughly assess all factors that have influenced a person’s development to develop a patient centered approach.


Boland, R. & Verduin, M. L. & Ruiz, P. (2022). Kaplan & Sadock’s synopsis of psychiatry (12th ed.). Wolters Kluwer.

Giangrande, E., Weber, R., Turkheimer, E., (2022). What do we know about the genetic architecture of psychopathology? Annal Review of Clinical Psychology, 18(1), 19-42.…

Jacobs, M., Miller, L., Wickramaratne, P., Gameroff, M., & Weissman, M. M. (2012). Family religion and psychopathology in children of depressed mothers: Ten-year follow-up. PsycEXTRA Dataset.

Nesi, J., Burke, T. A., Extein, J., Kudinova, A. Y., Fox, K. A., Hunt, J., & Wolff, J. C. (2021). Social media use, sleep, and psychopathology in psychiatrically hospitalized adolescents. Journal of Psychiatric Research, 144, 296–303.

Rudd, K. L., Roubinov, D. S., Jones-Mason, K., Alkon, A., & Bush, N. R. (2021). Developmental consequences of early life stress on risk for Psychopathology: Longitudinal Associations with Children’s multisystem physiological regulation and executive functioning. Development and Psychopathology, 33(5), 1759–1773.

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