A Socioecological Approach to Understanding Bipolar Disorder Psychopathology
Extensive studies regarding the biology of bipolar disorder psychopathology date back to the turn of the 20th century, when Emil Kraepelin proposed his famous psychiatric nosology. Emerging evidence has revealed that bipolar disorder psychopathology is also influenced heavily by complex bidirectional interactions between individual, interpersonal, environmental, societal, and historical factors. This review utilizes Bronfenbrenner's ecological systems theory and Process-Person-Context-Time model to systematically explore these interactions and their impact on the etiology, expression, and treatment of bipolar disorder psychopathology. Conceptual, theoretical, and empirical research is presented to support this framework. Implications for mental health professionals and future research are also discussed.