A diathesis is a predisposition, be this a personality trait, a genetic factor, or a hormonal condition, that will present itself as a risk factor, a susceptibility, or a vulnerability to stress. What is stressful for one individual (e.g., interviewing for a job) may not necessarily be stressful for another. Indeed, individuals scoring low on sensation seeking (a personality trait indicating an inclination toward taking risks and a need for novel and varied experiences) might be more stressed by such situations than those scoring high on sensation seeking. The diathesis qua risk factor is a predisposition to experience a psychopathological state resulting from this diathesis-stress interaction.

The diathesis-stress model specifies that neither the diathesis nor the stress alone is sufficient to produce the disorder. It is ...

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