1st Edition

Nature and Nurture in Personality and Psychopathology A Guide for Clinicians

By Joel Paris Copyright 2022
    158 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    158 Pages 3 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Psychiatry and clinical psychology have long been divided about the roles of nature and nurture in the pathways to psychopathology. Some clinicians offer treatment almost entirely based on neuroscience. Some psychologists offer psychotherapies almost entirely based on the impact of environmental stressors. Paris argues for a balanced middle ground between nature and nurture in human development. This book reviews and integrates research showing that the key to understanding the development of mental disorders lies in interactions between genes and environment. It explores why personality is a key determinant of how people respond to stress, functioning as a kind of psychological immune system. This model represents a shift from overly simple and reductionistic constructs, based primarily on biological risks or on psychosocial risks in development. Instead, it offers a complex and multivariate approach that encourages a broader approach to treatment.

    This book is essential for all mental health clinicians who are interested in understanding the roles of nature and nurture in the development of psychopathology.

    Introduction 1.Defining and Measuring Psychopathology 2. Personality and Psychopathology 3. What Genes Can and Cannot Tell Us 4. Neuroscience: Triumphs and Limitations 5. Childhood Adversities and Adult Functioning 6. Resilience: Surviving a Bad Childhood 7. Nature-Nurture Interactions 8. Problems with Causality 9. Implications for Psychotherapy 10. Implications for Prevention and Management


    Joel Paris, MD, is a research associate at the Sir Mortimer B. Davis Jewish General Hospital in Montreal, Canada, and emeritus professor of Psychiatry at McGill University. He is the author of 25 books and over 200 scientific papers. His main area of research has been borderline personality disorder.


    "Professor Paris has done it again with another insightful, clearly written, book that highlights core issues that every clinician (and researcher) should be thinking about. Taking us through the evolution of his thinking, Dr. Paris integrates the wide-ranging universe of psychopathology and the nature-nurture debate into a conceptual model that clinicians can understand and embrace."

    Mark Zimmerman, MD, Professor of Psychiatry and Human Behavior, Brown Medical School and Director of Outpatient Psychiatry and Partial Hospital Program, Rhode Island Hospital.