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Vulnerability Stress Model

The vulnerability stress model posits that a combination of inherent vulnerabilities and environmental stress, rather than either factor alone, is responsible for the onset and course of psychopathology. Psychological vulnerabilities are enduring, and often latent, traits that predispose an individual for negative emotional states, while stressors are episodes that disrupt the individual’s psychological stability and challenge him or her to adapt. According to the vulnerability stress model, when the combination of an individual’s unique predisposition and the level of stress experienced crosses a threshold, a psychopathological disorder emerges.

First put forth by Joseph Zubin and Bonnie Spring in 1997 to explain the onset of schizophrenia symptoms, the vulnerability stress model has since been applied to better understand the development of a number of other psychopathologies. ...

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