Environmental stresses and strains

Child psychopathology is associated with a variety of environmental stressors, including a range of chronic problems (such as poverty, unstable living conditions, or chronic family discord and disruption), and acute life events (from deaths of friends and family members, physical assaults, hurricanes, and wars at the severe end of the spectrum to changes of school or break-ups with boyfriends at the 'mild' end). Current evidence suggests that it is the accumulation of multiple stressors that substantially increases risk for psychopathology, rather than the impact of any single event. It is important, therefore, to get an idea of the degree to which a child has been exposed to a range of potential stressors over his or her life.

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