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Developmental Psychopathology

Developmental psychopathology is best described as a conceptual approach to understanding both typical development and the unfolding of psychopathology over time. Developmental psychopathology is not a theoretical model; rather, it describes a research perspective. It is a scientific field of study that bridges multiple disciplines and seeks to understand the interplay among psychology, biology, and sociocultural contexts in the course of normal and abnormal development. It takes a lifespan approach and elucidates the processes of typical development as well as deviations from the norm. In other words, research is done to try and identify behaviors, interactional patterns, neurobiological vulnerabilities, and environmental stressors that precede and increase risk for maladjustment in both children and adults.

This entry provides an overview of developmental psychopathology concepts and principles, then ...

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