Despite the explosion of studies assessing relations between various contextual factors and various forms of psychological disturbance, about the only firm conclusion one can draw regarding the environment's role in the development of psychopathology is that “bad” things have “bad” effects among some — but not all — people, some — but not all — of the time. We argue that extant research has confused two different roles of context and suggest that (1) environmental factors act as nonspecific stressors in the elicitation of psychopathology by provoking autonomic arousal, with specificity of expressed psychopathology governed by individual differences in endogenous factors; and that (2) context is specific in affecting the course of psychopathology by influencing the extent to which the behavioral, affective, or cognitive components of the pathology are repeated.
Child Development – Wiley
Published: Jan 1, 2000
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