What is the Diathesis–Stress Model?

The Diathesis–Stress Model is a psychological theory that explains how mental disorders develop and are maintained. It states that mental disorders are caused by a combination of biological, psychological and environmental factors. The model suggests that a person’s vulnerability to a disorder is determined by their diathesis (an underlying predisposition) and that this is triggered by a stressful event or events.

The concept of the Diathesis–Stress Model was first proposed by American psychiatrist George Engel in the late 1960s. He proposed that the development of mental disorders was the result of a combination of biological and environmental factors, rather than a single cause. This model has since been applied to a range of mental health conditions, including depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

How Does the Diathesis–Stress Model Work?

The Diathesis–Stress Model suggests that a person’s vulnerability to mental illness is determined by their diathesis, or underlying predisposition. This diathesis can be genetic, biological, psychological or environmental in nature. It is important to note that a person’s diathesis does not necessarily mean that they will develop a mental illness, but it can increase their risk.

The model also suggests that a person’s diathesis is triggered by a stressful event or events. This can be anything from a traumatic experience to a change in life circumstances. The stress can be physical, emotional or environmental in nature. The model suggests that the combination of the diathesis and the stress is what leads to the development of a mental disorder.

What Are the Implications of the Diathesis–Stress Model?

The Diathesis–Stress Model has a number of implications for the treatment and prevention of mental illness. Firstly, it suggests that a person’s vulnerability to a mental disorder is determined by their underlying predisposition, which means that it is important to identify and address any underlying factors that may be contributing to their mental health.

Secondly, the model suggests that a person’s diathesis can be triggered by a stressful event or events, which means that it is important to identify and address any potential stressors in a person’s life. Finally, the model suggests that a combination of biological, psychological and environmental factors are responsible for the development of mental illness, which means that treatment should focus on addressing all of these factors.

FAQs

What is the Diathesis–Stress Model?

The Diathesis–Stress Model is a psychological theory that explains how mental disorders develop and are maintained. It states that mental disorders are caused by a combination of biological, psychological and environmental factors. The model suggests that a person’s vulnerability to a disorder is determined by their diathesis (an underlying predisposition) and that this is triggered by a stressful event or events.

What are the implications of the Diathesis–Stress Model?

The Diathesis–Stress Model has a number of implications for the treatment and prevention of mental illness. Firstly, it suggests that a person’s vulnerability to a mental disorder is determined by their underlying predisposition, which means that it is important to identify and address any underlying factors that may be contributing to their mental health. Secondly, the model suggests that a person’s diathesis can be triggered by a stressful event or events, which means that it is important to identify and address any potential stressors in a person’s life. Finally, the model suggests that a combination of biological, psychological and environmental factors are responsible for the development of mental illness, which means that treatment should focus on addressing all of these factors.

What is the difference between diathesis and stress?

Diathesis is an underlying predisposition, which can be genetic, biological, psychological or environmental in nature. Stress is an external factor, which can be physical, emotional or environmental in nature. The Diathesis–Stress Model suggests that a combination of diathesis and stress is what leads to the development of a mental disorder.