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Scar Model


Causes-consequences; Depression; Personality; Psychopathology; Self-esteem


The scar model suggests a causal effect of psychopathology on personality. It assumes that the experience of having suffered from a severe mental disorder such as a major depression leaves “scars” in individuals that have a lasting effect on personality such as low self-esteem. In this entry, the scar model is discussed with respect to the association between depression and self-esteem.

Personality and Psychopathology

A variety of theoretical models have been proposed to understand the associations between personality and psychopathology (Widiger and Smith 2008). Two competing albeit closely related models are particularly concerned with the directionality of causal effects between the constructs: the vulnerability model and the scar model. The vulnerability (or predisposition) model assumes causal effects of personality on psychopathology. It holds that personality plays a causal role in...

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Correspondence to Mathias Allemand .

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Allemand, M., Grünenfelder-Steiger, A.E., Flückiger, C. (2018). Scar Model. In: Zeigler-Hill, V., Shackelford, T. (eds) Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences. Springer, Cham.

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  • Print ISBN: 978-3-319-28099-8

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