Article thumbnail
Location of Repository

Beyond diathesis stress: differential susceptibility to environmental influences

By Jay Belsky and Michael Pluess

Abstract

Evolutionary-biological reasoning suggests that individuals should be differentially susceptible to environmental influences, with some people being not just more vulnerable than others to the negative effects of adversity, as the prevailing diathesis-stress view of psychopathology (and of many environmental influences) maintains, but also disproportionately susceptible to the beneficial effects of supportive and enriching experiences (or just the absence of adversity). Evidence consistent with the proposition that individuals differ in plasticity is reviewed. The authors document multiple instances in which (a) phenotypic temperamental characteristics, (b) endophenotypic attributes, and (c) specific genes function less like “vulnerability factors” and more like “plasticity factors,” thereby rendering some individuals more malleable or susceptible than others to both negative and positive environmental influences. Discussion focuses upon limits of the evidence, statistical criteria for distinguishing differential susceptibility from diathesis stress, potential mechanisms of influence, and unknowns in the differential-susceptibility equation

Topics: psyc
Publisher: American Psychological Association
Year: 2009
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.bbk.ac.uk.oai2:2293
Download PDF:
Sorry, we are unable to provide the full text but you may find it at the following location(s):
  • http://doi.org/10.1037/a001737... (external link)
  • Suggested articles


    To submit an update or takedown request for this paper, please submit an Update/Correction/Removal Request.