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Explain the biological (genetic and neuroscientific); psychological (behavioral and cognitive processes, emotional, developmental); and social, cultural, and interpersonal factors that influence the development of psychopathology




Mental health provides us with the capacity for resilience, emotional growth, self-esteem, rational thinking, learning, and communication skills. There are times we go through occasional stress without impairment. When we face marked stress, we experience concerns and emotional problems. Psychopathology refers to the scientific exploration of abnormal mental states and maladaptive or unusual behaviors (Schultze-Lutter et al., 2018). Biological, psychological, social, cultural, and interpersonal factors influence the development of psychopathology, as seen in this paper.

Biological factors emphasize the role played by genetics and neurobiology in psychopathology. Biological elements playing an essential role in developing mental disorders include brain structures, the endocrine system, neurotransmitters, and genetics (Lebowitz & Appelbaum, 2019). Different brain structures carry out different roles. For instance, the thalamus is the pathway of motor and sensory impulses; the hypothalamus regulates emotional functioning, while the limbic system modulates emotions (Watson & Williams, 2018). On the other hand, neurotransmitters, which are either excitatory or inhibitory, affect the development of psychopathology. The increase or decrease in the number of neurotransmitters such as dopamine, norepinephrine, and serotonin cause changes that manifest as mental illness.

Psychological factors also play a significant role in psychopathology development. Causes include unresolved childhood issues and trauma, an important early loss, neglect, abuse (sexual, physical, and emotional), and inadequate ego defense mechanisms (Townsend & Morgan, 2020). These psychological factors interact with other factors, such as biological and environmental, causing significant impairment that leads to mental disorders or illnesses.

Lastly, social, cultural, and interpersonal factors also play a role in developing psychopathology. Globally, it is recognized that the cultural context defines human behavior adjustment, including how people behave, socialize, feel, and think. Culture also shapes the threshold to distress in life and the forms and range of adaptive and acceptable expressiveness (Moleiro, 2018). Thus, culture is key in the development of psychopathology.


Lebowitz, M. S., & Appelbaum, P. S. (2019). Biomedical Explanations of Psychopathology and Their Implications for Attitudes and Beliefs About Mental Disorders. Annual Review of Clinical Psychology, 15(1), 555–577.

Moleiro, C. (2018). Culture and Psychopathology: New Perspectives on Research, Practice, and Clinical Training in a Globalized World. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 9.

Schultze-Lutter, F., Schmidt, S. J., & Theodoridou, A. (2018). Psychopathology—a Precision Tool in Need of Re-sharpening. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 9.

Townsend, M. C., & Morgan, K. I. (2020). Essentials of psychiatric mental health nursing: Concepts of care in evidence-based practice (8th ed.). F.A. Davis Company.

Watson, R., & Williams, A. (2018). Anatomy and physiology for nurses. Elsevier, Cop.