Depression and Anti-Social Behavior

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Depression and Antisocial Behavior

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Depression and Antisocial Behavior
Emotions and genetic features work together to form personal identity and shape one’s actions. A person’s life from conception, infancy, childhood, and adolescence all have an impact on physical and emotional well-being. This paper will look at the diathesis-stress model, Dodge’s Social Information Processing and the factors that may affect depression and antisocial behaviors. The diathesis-stress model talks about the relationship between potential causes of depression, and the degree to which people may be vulnerable to react to those causes. The diathesis-stress model suggests that people have predispositions for developing depression. The vulnerabilities are referred to as diatheses. Some people may have more of these diatheses for developing depression than other people. However, having a predisposition towards developing depression alone is not enough to trigger the illness. An individual's diathesis must interact with stressful life events in order to prompt the onset of the illness (Nemade, R. Ph.D., Reiss, N. S. Ph.D., Dombeck, M. Ph.D., 2007). Following the diathesis-stress model, the difference in genetic predisposition along with the different life experiences accounts for why some adolescents become antisocial when others do not. Death or other losses such as job layoffs, relationship difficulties like divorce, normal milestones such as puberty, marriage, or retirement; alcoholism or drug abuse, neurochemical and hormonal imbalances, and infections can all be powerful enough to cause depressive symptoms in someone with a diathesis (Nemade et al, 2007). In some cases stress from the environment reacts with someone’s predisposition for depression resulting in a breakdown. Dodge’s Social Information-Processing Model helps to explain why people who feel attacked react aggressively. The model describes the cognitive steps that are necessary in order to react appropriately in a social setting. Dodge’s model says that, “at a young age people should learn to: (1) observe social cues, (2) interpret behavior, (3) generate responses, (4) choose appropriate response after evaluating potential consequences, and (5) perform the chosen response.” (Dodge, K. A., 1986, p. 72) People who are highly emotional but have low emotional control often have difficulty perceiving people’s intentions. The factors affecting depression and antisocial behavior are external and internal, biological and environmental. As seen throughout the text book, life is a delicate interaction of nature and nurture. Attachment, parenting, family, friendships, personality, self-esteem, and psychopathology all interrelate and depend on one another. In a secure, emotionally open mother-child relationship, children develop a more positive, less biased understanding of others, which then promotes more positive friendships (“University of Illinois,” 2009). Research shows that children who were securely attached at age three showed more open emotional communication with mothers and better language ability (“University of Illinois,” 2009). This finding suggests that the way children interpret other people's behavior may begin to develop in the context of early relationships in the family, and these interpretations may be important for a child's ability to get along with friends later on (“University of Illinois,” 2009). A child's early attachment relationships are close and emotionally intense. For that reason, those relationships may be important in guiding children's thinking about and functioning in other close relationships (“University of Illinois,” 2009). Significantly higher levels of antisocial behavior were found in seven-year-old children whose mothers were depressed during the child's first five years of life (“Journal of American Medical,” 2005). "Children of depressed mothers have elevated conduct problems,...
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