Nature vs Nurture

When it comes to psychiatric disorders, there is always a debate about nature vs. nurture. Nature refers to our genetics, hormones, and traits that we inherited from our parents. which has effects on personality development and strongly influences the way we develop from childhood to adulthood. On the other hand, nurture refers to environmental factors, our upbringing, social relationships, culture, and childhood experiences. Certain aspects are tied to environmental factors, and some are determined by our genetics. For example, eye color is determined by genetics, and behavioral aspects are learned through observation.

This raises a serious question when we analyze certain behaviors in humans, whether they are natural or nurtured. For example, if a man behaves violently with his wife, is it because of his upbringing or genetic violent tendencies?

In the olden days, psychologists believed that nature played a huge role in an individual’s behavior, personality, and cognition. As the field of psychology branched out into different sub-fields, external factors were focused.

Nature Vs Nurture – Mental health

Twin studies have been conducted for more than 50 years to determine whether nature or nurture is the causal factor for mental health issues. However, over the years, there has been debate about nature vs. nurture. It is difficult to categorize psychiatric disorders under nature vs. nurture. In a research study, it was found that the risk of bipolar disorder was caused by genetics (68%) and environmental factors (32%) . A research study about eating disorders found that they were caused by genetics (40%)and environmental factors (60%).

In some cases, mental health issues like ADHD, schizophrenia, personality disorders, and psychotic disorders are caused by chemical imbalances in the brain, genetics, and neurological conditions. On the other hand, environmental factors such as witnessing abuse or experiencing trauma can cause mental health issues like PTSD, anxiety disorders, and depression.

Child Development

There are different theories focusing on the nature or nurture aspect in the development of children. For example, the social learning theory emphasizes that children learn by observing the behavior of others. When it comes to nature, it is not in our control. However, nurture can be altered, and we can change certain factors to create a healthy mindset. When children are exposed to a harmful environment, it will result in mental health issues. Children growing up with overbearing parents and witnessing domestic violence, neglect or rejection, bullying, or abuse will have mental health issues. The family history of mental health and family influences have a strong connection to mental health issues. It is essential for parents to be mindful of the nature and nurture aspects and how they play a role in shaping a child’s emotional and psychological well-being. A study was done in the United States of America to measure the self-efficacy of American and Asian students, and it was found that American students who performed poorly in academics had high self-efficacy. On the other hand, the Asian students who were good in academics had low self-efficacy. The culture and developmental factors were the main reasons.

Disciplining a child is an important role in parenting, but going to the extreme of making the child feel shameful about themselves. Using harsh words, insulting the child, devaluing things that are valued by them, and hitting the child can cause chronic fear and shame, which can lead to emotional disturbances and mental disorders. These upbringing and environmental factors can significantly cause mental health issues in the later or early stages of life. Nature is not in our control but to nurture a child is absolutely in the hands of a parent.



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