Nevid and Rathus (2005) break the multifactorial method factors down into six main groups of factors that play a part in a person's health and his or her susceptibility to different illnesses. The six main factors in the multifactorial model are; biological, sociocultural, environmental, personality, behavior, and stressors (p.126). Each of the six factors contains several influences that can affect or determine the likelihood for illness. A person has control over some of these factors and others are completely beyond control.
The physical, emotional, and cognitive effects of stress along with the psychological factors play various roles in a person's health. In psychology the area that studies what the relationship is between certain factors and the prevention of certain illnesses or treatment of illnesses is known as health psychology. Understanding these factors and what measures a person can implement to guard against certain illnesses or injuries can help reduce a person's chance in many cases.
The first factor is biological. Biological factors include pathogens, gender, genetics, and even age. Other biological influences include family history of illness, ethnicity, pain, and even exposure to different infectious organisms. Although biological factors play a role in an individual's health, it does not mean a person will exhibit certain health problems. For example, just because there is a history of heart disease or cancer in the family does not mean an individual will for certain develop cancer or heart disease. Genes and family history are just predispositions, not certainties. If a strong history of heart disease is known taking certain precautions eating healthy and regular exercise can help decrease the chance of developing heart disease. A person's lifestyle choices certainly contribute to the risk of developing certain illnesses and diseases. Poor diet, smoking, stress, obesity, and lack of exercise are factors that can increase a person's chances of developing illnesses such as heart disease and certain types of cancer.