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Endogenous versus Reactive

  1. Cassie Overstreet,
  2. Sage Hawn,
  3. Ananda Amstadter

Published Online: 23 JAN 2015

DOI: 10.1002/9781118625392.wbecp418

The Encyclopedia of Clinical Psychology

The Encyclopedia of Clinical Psychology

How to Cite

Overstreet, C., Hawn, S. and Amstadter, A. 2015. Endogenous versus Reactive. The Encyclopedia of Clinical Psychology. 1–5.

Author Information

  1. Virginia Commonwealth University, U.S.A.

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 23 JAN 2015


This entry examines the evolution of the classification of depression from the endogenous-reactive model, which proposed that the causal sources were either internal (brain based/biological) or external (a reaction to a stressful life event) to the integrative model that is widely accepted today. The original concept's historical roots are briefly summarized, followed by a discussion of several lines of genetically informed research that have shed light on the etiologic sources of psychiatric conditions such as depression and posttraumatic stress disorder. More specifically, gene-environment correlation (rGE) research has aided in the shift away from the once commonly held belief that depression was dichotomously categorized into endogenous (biological) or reactive (environmental) forms.


  • genetics;
  • depression;
  • post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD)