Biological Constructs: Overview

Biological bases for psychopathology are now firmly established; there is no longer a question about whether there is a biological basis for psychopathology. Rather, the focus of recent investigation and theorizing is how to identify and differentiate among competing biological explanations that (a) mark vulnerability for psychopathology, (b) predict the onset and course of disturbance, and (c) account for an improvement in symptoms with time or treatment. This entry considers strategies for operationalizing biological constructs and briefly highlights exemplars of biological constructs that have had a major influence on the research into psychopathology.

Focusing on biological constructs is not meant to give exclusive emphasis to biology or to presume that biology is not closely linked with social constructs, which may in turn shape biology. For ...

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