What are the biological and psychosocial theories for schizophrenia?

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crmhaske eNotes educator| Certified Educator

The precise causes of schizophrenia are unknown, but it has been linked to a number of potential triggers.

The disorder is thought to have a genetic component.  If one monozygotic twin has the disorder, the other twin is 40% more likely to develop it also.  This risk is 6.5% for those with an immediate family member with the disorder, and 46% for a child with parents who both have it.

Psychologically speaking, the effects of having a low socioeconomic status have also been linked to the development of schizophrenia such as unemployment, social isolation, and family dysfunction.  Living in a metropolitan rather than rural area has also shown an increased risk.

The dopamine hypothesis posits that the symptoms of schizophrenia result from the brain's interpretation of misfiring dopamine neurons.  The precise cause of this misfiring is yet unexplained.