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Mental Disorder-Biopsychosocial Assessment

Mental Disorder-Biopsychosocial Assessment

Mental disorders arise from three factors: biological factors, social factors, and psychological factors. Therefore, it is prudent to consider these factors in social work while attending to clients. In this regard, three areas are assessed in the biopsychosocial assessment, as described in Corcoran and Walsh’s (2019) book, which include individual factors, social aspects, and societal aspects.

Individual Factors

These include the genetic factors causing mental disorders and heritability, the neurotransmitters responsible for the brain changes resulting in mental disorders, the individual temperament as traits play a role in the development of mental disorders, the physical health including the prenatal causes of mental disorders and alcohol use, the individual psychosocial mechanism such as self-esteem and coping mechanism and the development stages as most of the mental disorder develop in the early stages of life. All these factors determine an individual’s susceptibility to mental disorders.

The Social Aspect

Several factors, such as the family and the family structure, are assessed from a social aspect and are also delineated as social mechanisms. Notably, individuals raised in hostile and unstable families are at risk of developing mental disorders such as anxiety (Corcoran & Walsh, 2019). Other factors considered in this section include the social support networks, neighborhood, and the traumatic events in an individual’s life, such as assault. In addition, the household structure is assessed as those from families with many family members are at risk of developing mental disorders, while those from small families are protected from developing mental disorders. Similarly, those from divorced families and single parenthood are also at risk of mental disorders.

Societal Aspects

Societal aspects, as described in the text, may attenuate mental health disorders. On the one hand, societal factors that risk individuals to mental health disorders include poverty, ethnicity, especially African Americans in homeless shelters, and sex minorities such as gays (Corcoran & Walsh, 2019). On the other hand, the societal factors that protect one from mental health disorders include tax policies, income support, and the legal process for addressing mental health disorders.


Corcoran, J., & Walsh, J. (2019). Mental health in social work: A casebook on diagnosis and strengths based assessment (3rd ed.). Pearson.


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List the three areas assessed in a biopsychosocial assessment as described in Chapter 2. (Hint – the book doesn’t “list” them all in headers)

Mental Disorder-Biopsychosocial Assessment

Mental Disorder-Biopsychosocial Assessment

Textbook link:

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