Vulnerability: A new view of schizophrenia

Joseph Zubin*, Bonnie Spring

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1458 Scopus citations


Reviews the 6 approaches to etiology that now preempt the field--ecological, developmental, learning, genetic, internal environment, and neurophysiological models--and proposes a 2nd-order model, vulnerability, as the common denominator. Methods are suggested for finding markers of vulnerability in the hope of revitalizing the field. It is assumed that exogenous and/or endogenous challengers elicit a crisis in all humans, but depending on the intensity of the elicited stress and the threshold for tolerating it (i.e., one's vulnerability), the crisis will either be contained homeostatically or lead to an episode of disorder. Vulnerability and episode stand in a trait-state relation, and markers for each must be provided to distinguish between them. (83 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)103-126
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Abnormal Psychology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 1977


  • vulnerability to stress, etiology of schizophrenia

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Psychology
  • Psychology(all)
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology


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