Abnormal Psychology: Mental Health and Mental Illness

Disorders of Personality

What causes personality pathology?

Personality pathology has both environmental and genetic causes. The schema approach addresses the environmental causes of personality pathology, considering how early relationships with parents and other key figures in childhood shape enduring personality traits. The psychiatrist Robert Cloninger suggested that personality is made up of both temperament and character. Temperament refers to biologically based personality traits that are determined by genetics. Character refers to the parts of personality that are most influenced by the environment. In this way, he integrated both genetic and environmental explanations of personality.


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