Abnormal Psych-Lifespan Dev't. What Would Essay

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Schizophrenia can begin as early as infancy but more often starts during adolescence or early adulthood (Prinel, 2006, 449). It is communicated genetically but is also aggravated by environmental factors, such as stress (Kring, et al., 2006). Relatives of patients with schizophrenia are more predisposed to the disorder (Ibid). Further, they may not only have the same genes but may also share the same experiences (Ibid). Studies have shown that while schizophrenia may only affect 1% of the population, the incidence of inheriting this disorder rises to 10% among close biological relatives (i.e., in a parent, a child or a sibling) (Prinel, 2006, 450).

However, the development of schizophrenia is not attributed merely to genetic factors. Even though a person may be predisposed to the disorder, the environment in which he lives in plays a defining role in the activation of the disorder (Prinel, 2006). Family related factors, such as stress in the household may act as a trigger for the disorder (Kring, et al., 2007). A case in point, mothers who were characterized as "rejecting, overprotective, self-sacrificing, impervious to the feelings of others, rigid and moralistic to sex, and fearful of intimacy" were said to induce the development of schizophrenia (Kring, et al., 2007, 369).

Although, this notion has been questioned, the link of families in the development of schizophrenia is strong.
Families of schizophrenics communicate vaguely with each other and exhibit greater levels of conflict than families of people who do not have the disorder (Ibid, 369). Although these studies are more suggestive than conclusive, it is important to bear in mind. Thus, fostering better lines of communication may decrease the probability of the development of schizophrenia.

In conclusion, as this discussion has shown, the symptoms and the causes of schizophrenia are highly complex. Thus, it makes it difficult to narrow this mental disorder down to a clear and simple idea. As this paper has discussed, the symptoms of schizophrenia have devastating effects not only on the patient but also on the people around them. As such, many studies have been conducted in an attempt to better understand this disorder in hopes to find more effective ways to treat it.


American Psychiatric Association (1994). Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (4th Edition). Washington DC: Author

Konstantareas, M., & Hewitt, T. (2001, February). Autistic Disorder and Schizophrenia: Diagnostic Overlaps. Journal of Autism & Developmental Disorders, 31(1), 19-28. Retrieved September 11, 2009, from Education Research Complete database.

Kring, a., Davison, G., Neale, J., Johnson, S. (2007). Abnormal

Psychology (10th Edition). Chapter11 (pp. 349- 385). USA: John Wiley & Sons, Inc.

Prinel, John.....

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