This entry presents an overview of the discipline known as developmental psychopathology. The developmental component refers to processes, changes, sequences, and other aspects of functioning that are typically associated with particular age periods. The psychopathology component refers to behavioral, emotional, social, and cognitive problems that interfere with healthy adaptation. The discipline of developmental psychopathology promotes research on relations between development and psychopathology to advance understanding of the origins and course of psychopathology and to improve prevention, treatment, and outcomes of psychopathology across the life span.

Development of the Discipline

To remedy the lack of evidence-based knowledge about child psychopathology, researchers in the 1960s sought to identify syndromes of behavioral, emotional, social, and cognitive problems manifested by children. (In this entry, children and childhood are used to ...

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