Encyclopedia of Behavioral Medicine

Living Edition
| Editors: Marc Gellman

Stress Vulnerability Models

  • Conny W. E. M. QuaedfliegEmail author
  • Tom Smeets
Living reference work entry

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4614-6439-6_65-3



Vulnerability models are used to identify factors that are causally related to symptom development. Stress vulnerability models describe the relation between stress and the development of (psycho)pathology. They propose an association between (1) latent endogenous vulnerability factors that interact with stress to increase the adverse impact of stressful conditions, (2) environmental factors that influence the onset and course of (psycho)pathology, and (3) protective factors that buffer against or mitigate the effects of stress on pathological responses.


The prevalence of stress-related mental disorders encompassing mood and anxiety disorders in Europe is above 20%. This morbidity is associated with high health-care costs, disability, and potential mortality. It is widely acknowledged that there are individual differences in how stressful people judge a particular event to be as well as in their ability to cope with adverse...

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References and Further Reading

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Psychology and NeuroscienceMaastricht UniversityMaastrichtThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of Clinical Psychological Science, Faculty of Psychology and NeuroscienceMaastricht UniversityMaastrichtThe Netherlands
  3. 3.CoRPS – Center of Research on Psychological and Somatic disorders, Department of Medical and Clinical Psychology, Tilburg School of Social and Behavioral SciencesTilburg UniversityTilburgThe Netherlands

Section editors and affiliations

  • Urs M. Nater
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of PsychologyUniversity of ViennaViennaAustria