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Social and Biological Causes
By: Trista Foster
. "Schizophrenia is a severe brain disorder
that usually produces a lifetime of
disability and emotional distress for
affected individuals" (Lewis & Lieberman,
2000; Lewis and Levitt, 2002).
It effects 1% of the population
Onset of Schizophrenia
Schizophrenia’s most prevalent symptoms
begin in early adulthood.
Early onset Schizophrenia is just as
severe: Lewis and Levitt (2002) state that
children and adolescence with
schizophrenia show signs such as:
isolation, low social confidence, and social
Social Causes of Schizophrenia
Cantor-Gree (2007) states that social
situations can have an etiologic role for
the onset and development of
– Social Defeat
– Social Inequality and Adversity
Social Causes Continued…
The environment that a person grows up
in can heavily affect the onset of
– According to Cantor- Graae (2007) stressors
in the home that contribute to stressors that
can lead to schizophrenia are: single parent
household, rental apartments, unemployment,
and the receiving of welfare.
Biological Causes of Schizophrenia
– . "...the median age at onset differed between
the sexes: the males had an earlier onset
(mean=27.8 years) than the females (31.5
years) "Gorwood, Leboyer, Jay, Payan, &
Biological Causes Continued….
– . Gorwoodm et al., (1995) propose that
females with no family history are diagnosed
with schizophrenia later than females with
family history, and males with or without a
family history of schizophrenia.
Biological Causes Continued….
– "Endophenotypes are quantative traits
(pathophysiological markers) that share a
substantial genetic component with the
clinical disorder" (Rijisdijk et al., 2005).
– Stress can also alter the amount of chemical
being produced in the brain
There is not certain cause for
schizophrenia, but it can better be
explained from a social and biological
The three greatest suspects for the onset
and cause are genetics, stress, and
Cantor-Graae, E. (2007). The contribution of social factors to the
development of schizophrenia: A review of recent findings. Canadian
Journal of Psychiatry, 52(5), 277-86. Retrieved from
Gorwood, P., Leboyer, M., Jay, M., Payan, C., & Feingold, J. (1995).
Gender and age at onset in schizophrenia: Impact of family history. The
American Journal of Psychiatry, 152(2), 208-12. Retrieved from
Lewis, D. A., & Levitt, P. (2002). Schizophrenia as a disorder of
neurodevelopment. Annual Review of Neuroscience, 25, 409-32. Retrieved
RIJSDIJK, F. V., Van HAREN, ,N.E.M., PICCHIONI, M. M., McDONALD, C.,
TOULOPOULOU, T., POL, H. E. H., . . . SHAM, P. C. (2005). Brain MRI
abnormalities in schizophrenia: Same genes or same environment?
Psychological Medicine, 35(10), 1399-409. Retrieved from