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Susceptibility (disorders)

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Susceptibility or vulnerability is a construct that refers to characteristics of an individual that are likely to predict an increased risk of developing a disorder, either psychological or physical. However as Ingram et al 1998[1] point out adequate definitions have been difficult to formulate.

Susceptibility may be considered as an element in the etiology or causal account of disorders. While external stress, for example, may occur not all people will react in the same way. So those who succumb to depression following a death of a close relative, are hypothesized to have vulnerabilities that make them more likely to develop the disorder than more resilient others.

Ingram & Price (2010)[2] characterize vulnerability with reference to three features: 1. Vulnerability as a stable trait 2. Vulnerability as endogenous and latent 3. Vulnerabilities relationship to stress.

easily influenced..

willing and ready


will be usually prompt and easily dispositioned

good work history

pays for his her existence

does not protest

complies and is obedient

trustworthy and niaeve

has sense of family and will be supportive

can feel disappointment

does have dependency

will be sacraficial

can have suicidal tendencies due to emotional recognition

does not consider self regard

suppressed easily

depressive tendencies

has over excitement towards realities which defy most robot logic

cannot be sane to robots ever no matter how hard they try

  • predicted psychological vulnerability quote of the 21st century " ye need mare shopping centres and I know i am on minimum wage "
  • has families reaching whopping 10 numbers
  • loves religious text
  • main goal " me hame, me castle, me body in labour, me wife is a hairdresser, me wanes are while good and like Barney, me mother left me a caravan so i built around it and look me life is grande... and i will never be upset or angry cause i am being self centred and me body is used by the god who directs me in life .. I cannot see him but he is there.. They tell me to have faith and i do believe he is there.. I can sometimes feel him and pray to him "
  • This victim is a believer and feels that it is his duty to God the all knowing who also guides him in lack of education and manual labour to help with his countries economy but does not realize its destruction so will be manipulated easily by the slave industry of his time "
  • And yes my own psychological vulnerability as a student of psychology who has to travel to an exam to prove my knowledge instead of their acceptance that I am so fantastic and they should know my intent by this satge not to abuse the knowledge but to encourage less vulnerability .. So I am faced with the belief in the university system and why my knowledge is to be tested and why such a journey is necessary cause it's not for the glory but for the sanity.. sanity is the real life and God should be kept out of it when we are not suscepitable to the brain washing and are bullied to uni when we should get educated at home to avoid the flaw.. to consider the above and to help with those you see might be susceptible to vulnerability...
  • Love is another stoop the madness right now i love my bed my sanity and I know how this is accomplished they bully me into existence and it's highly illegal but hey a 70 year old gets 10 euros per hour nowadays and he is happy this should cover the psychological vulnerability case study with his view and his willingness to be abused...
  • He feels love and will run on it I need to support him as a victim but cannot love but I think this should substitute love as a more modern term and knowledge of one you cannnot help... You know think and associate but cannot connect to therefore helpless and feel for his life as they abuse and manipulate and see his body as a way to home improvements instead of refining and maybe having some respect for .. With 40 years experience and on minimum wage.. Maybe discuss his mind and why he would do it... Conclude vulnerable or else ....??? any suggestions??

Psychological vulnerability

Physical vilnerability

Sociological vulnerability

A sub-category of vulnerability research is social vulnerability, where increasingly researchers are addressing some of the problems of complex human interactions, vulnerability of specific groups of people, and shocks like natural hazards, climate change, and other kinds of disruptions. The importance of the issue is indicated by the establishment of endowed chairs at university departments to examine social vulnerability.

Common application: In relation to hazards and disasters, vulnerability is a concept that links the relationship that people have with their environment to social forces and institutions and the cultural values that sustain and contest them. “The concept of vulnerability expresses the multidimensionality of disasters by focusing attention on the totality of relationships in a given social situation which constitute a condition that, in combination with environmental forces, produces a disaster” (Bankoff et al. 2004: 11).

It's also the extent to which changes could harm a system.

Emerging research: Vulnerability research covers a complex, multidisciplinary field including development and poverty studies, public health, climate studies, security studies, engineering, geography, political ecology, and disaster and risk management. This research is of particular importance and interest for organizations trying to reduce vulnerability--especially as related to poverty and other Millennium Development Goals. Many institutions are conducting interdisciplinary research on vulnerability. A forum of that brings many of the current researchers on vulnerability together is the Expert Working Group (EWG).1 Researchers are currently working to refine definitions of “vulnerability”, measurement and assessment methods, and effective communication of research to decision makers (Birkmann et al. 2006).

General principals

Major research questions: Within the body of literature related to vulnerability, major research streams include questions of methodology, such as: measuring and assessing vulnerability, including finding appropriate indicators for various aspects of vulnerability, up- and downscaling methods, and participatory methods (Villagran 2006).


In epidemiology a susceptible individual (sometimes known simply as a susceptible) is a member of a population who is at risk of developing a disorder, if he or she is exposed to precipitating causes

Mathematical model of susceptibility

The proportion of the population who are susceptible to a particular disease is denoted S. Due to the problems mentioned above, it is difficult to know this parameter for a given population. However, in a population with a rectangular population distribution (such as that of a developed country), it may be estimated by:

{S} = \frac {A} {L}

Where A is the average age at which the disease is contracted and L is the average life expectancy of the population. To understand the rationale behind this relation, think of A as the length of time spent in the susceptible group (assuming an individual is susceptible before contracting the disease and immune afterwards) and L as the total length of time spent in the population. It thus follows that the proportion of time spent as a susceptible is A/L and, in a population with a rectangular distribution, the proportion of an individual's life spent in one group is representative of the proportion of the population in that group.

The advantage of estimating S in this way is that both the average age of infection and average life expectancy will be well documented, and thus the other parameters needed to calculate S will be easily at hand.

The parameter S is important in the mathematical modelling of epidemics.

See also


  1. Ingram, R. E., Miranda, J., &C Segal, Z. V. (l998). Cognitive Vulnerability to Depresion. New York: Guilford Press
  2. Ingram, R.E. & Price, J.M. (eds.)(2010) Vulnerability to Psychopathology. New York:Guildford
  • Bankoff, Greg, George Frerks and Dorothea Hilhorst. 2004. Mapping Vulnerability. Sterling: Earthscan.
  • Birkmann, Joern (editor). 2006. Measuring Vulnerability to Natural Hazards – Towards Disaster Resilient Societies. UNU Press.
  • Thywissen, Katharina. 2006. “Components of Risk: A comparative glossary." SOURCE No. 2/2006. Bonn, Germany.
  • Villagran, Juan Carlos. "“Vulnerability: A conceptual and methodological review." SOURCE. No. 2/2006. 4:44, 5 October 2006. Bonn, Germany.

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