Psychological causal factors of abnormal behavior

Exposure to multiple uncontrollable and unpredictable frightening events is likely to leave a person vulnerable to anxiety and negative affect. Such psychosocial factors may handicap a person psychologically making him/her less resourceful in coping with events. Deprivation and trauma at an early life can be one such major factor. Children who not have adequate resources supplied by parents may be left with deep and sometimes irresistible psychological scars.

Psychological causal factors of abnormal behavior

Institutionalisation: many children institutionalised in infancy and early childhood show severe emotional, behavioural and learning problems and are at a risk for disturbed attachment relationship and psychopathology. 

Separation: short term/acute effects include significant despair during separation as well as detachment towards parents during reunion. Long term effects may include psychotic symptoms or vulnerability to stressor in adulthood

Neglect & abuse in the home: researchers have found that abused children often have a tendency to be overly aggressive. Maltreated children have difficulties in linguistic development and significant problems in behavioural, emotional and social functioning including conduct disorder, depression and anxiety and insecure attachment pattern with a negative view of others (Bowlby).

The consequences of such early deprivations can be explained in the form of various perspectives- according to Freud it might lead to fixation at oral stage, or intervene with development of basic trust (Erikson), or retard the attainment of needed skills (Skinner) or lead to formation of dysfunctional schemas (Beck). It is important to remember that such factors typically do not operate alone. They interact with each other and with other psychological factors, availability of social support as well as genetic factors.  

As we can see most of the disorders and their treatments can be explained well using the psychological model, but this model alone is not sufficient to describe all the aspects of psychopathology. It is important to see a disorder in its entire context of hereditary and environment. 

From exorcism to experimentation, we have come a long way in the field of abnormal psychology. Freud’s psychoanalytic theory replaced superstition with organic pathology as the suspected cause of disorders; eventually psychoanalysis was substituted by other schools of thought. 

In this long journey of evolution bio-psycho-social model is playing its own significant part until it gets supplanted by some other greater model in history of psychopathology