ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2016, Vol. 24 ›› Issue (2): 250-260.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2016.00250

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The predisposed beneficiaries of psychological interventions: Evidence from research on developmental plasticity

YAN Yupeng; XIA Mian; JIANG Guangrong   

  1. (School of Psychology, Central China Normal University; Key Laboratory of Adolescent Cyberpsychology and Behavior,
    Ministry of Education, and Hubei Human Development and Mental Health Key Laboratory, Wuhan 430079, China)
  • Received:2015-06-26 Online:2016-02-15 Published:2016-02-15
  • Contact: XIA Mian, E-mail:


In recent years, two models of developmental plasticity—differential susceptibility and vantage sensitivity—have been proposed, both of which indicate individual variation in response to positive environment. Psychological interventions have been included in this domain as one type of special positive environment. Research based on these models has demonstrated that clients with certain characteristics benefit more from psychological interventions, thus leading to better outcomes. Such inherent characteristics mainly include personalistic and temperamental, genetic, and physiological characteristics. Essentially, research in this area has been trying to address the issue of what works for whom, but existing research could only partially answer this question. Hence, at what level does the above characteristics account for variance of psychological intervention outcomes remained to be explored.

Key words: psychological interventions, developmental plasticity, differential susceptibility, vantage sensitivity.