Because of the wide range of approaches used to investigate the etiology of PTSD, PTSD perhaps represents the prototype for the use of the Biopsy-chosocial approach to understanding mental disorders. Although many other mental disorders have been approached from each of these three areas (e.g., depression or Schizophrenia), PTSD stands out as one of the most broadly investigated and multidisciplinary-involved disorders in the DSM-IV-TR. PTSD has been heavily investigated by physicians, psychologists, and even sociologists. As we have seen in Chapters 5 and 6, cognitive theories and biological models alike have given us powerful insights into the experience and etiology of PTSD on an individual basis. But like all psychological phenomena, these cognitive and biological processes occur within an interpersonal and social context that plays a powerful role in determining the development and presentation of the disorder. In this chapter, we will look at PTSD with the social and interpersonal perspectives in mind and conclude with some promising attempts at integration and construction of comprehensive understandings of its etiology.
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