Raschelle Murray POsitive Response

Factors that influence the development of psychopathology

Throughout the lifespan of an individual, the factors specific to their genetic genome, psychological profile, social, cultural, and interpersonal orientation provide an invaluable blueprint of their mental health status. These contributing factors of a human psychological profile can be manipulated and expressed differently in each individual resulting in similar, variable, or opposing presentations. Abnormalities detected within one’s psychological portfolio give rise to the need for psychopathological review. The term psychopathology can be defined as, the study of the behavioral abnormalities specific to mental health disorders through the extraction of data in regards to the biological, psychological, social, and cultural background (Sadock, 2015).

The study of psychopathology has evolved over the centuries to become more of a comprehensive study in the area of clinical review and research. Included in the evaluation of genetic factors that pose as a predetermination of mental health disorders. In the study of youth afflicted by mental health declines, polygenes have been discovered in adolescents who exhibit externalizing problems (Butler, 2018). Data collections of the psychological history of immediate and distant relatives are foundational in the assessment and evaluation of a client demonstrating mental health disorder characteristics (Sadock, 2015).

Psychological factors specific to behavioral/cognitive processes, emotional and developmental states have to be inclusive of any evaluation and diagnostic process of a provider.  These are considered external indicators exhibitory of symptomatic expression. Attention to developmental processes, childhood traumas, emotional adjustments, and satisfying expected milestones from infancy to puberty are considerable features in the progression of mental illness properties within the developing mind of a child. It has been noted that pubertal developmental in the stagnated sequence have been found to have a relationship with adolescent depression as well as the age of a child can have an impact on their cognitive adjustments during a traumatic event (Butler, 2018). In order to clearly capture the psychopathology of a client’s mind, child development has to be addressed.

In the area of social, cultural, and interpersonal characteristics, a differentiation and understanding of varying presentation have to be considered. Normalcy is embedded in the individualized cultural and social emersion experienced. Psychopathology is rooted in these differences of individuals’ backgrounds and heritage which have different meanings and values (Cheung, 2018). As a result, there is a heavy burden of comprehension in order to differentiate clinical perspectives. In their area of socioeconomic status, providers also have to consider the “feast or famine” ideology or the “fight or flight” reactionary responses that may be presented due to a continued threat of poverty-related stress and its association with psychological decline especially in youth (Cheung, 2018). It has been found that financial hardship during childhood is heavily predictive of the onset of varying classes of disorders across development (Cheung, 2018).

As a provider, considering these areas of concrete and variable influences have to be addressed in order to fully and comprehensively diagnosis and treatment mental health disorders properly.  Genetic undertones along with social and cultural influences create a unique onset of a client’s symptomatic presentation as a variance of potential diagnostic codes. A systematic review of each area highlighted gives the clinician a broader overview with the expectation of narrowing the prognosis to a concrete diagnosis.



Butler, J. N & Kendall, P. C. (2018). Introduction to Adolescent and Childhood Psychopathology.

In J.N and P.C Kendall (Eds). APA handbook of Psychopathology. Psychopathology:

Understanding and treating adult mental health disorders. Vol 1. (pp. 3-14).

Cheung, F.M. & Mak, W.W.F. (2018). Sociocultural factors in psychopathology. J.N Butcher and

J.M Hooley. (Eds). APA handbook of Psychopathology. Psychopathology: Understanding

and treating adult mental health disorders. Vol 1. (pp. 127-147).

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

ed.). Wolters Kluwer.

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