Multi-Level Models of Internalizing Disorders and Translational Developmental Science: Seeking Etiological Insights that can Inform Early Intervention Strategies
This commentary discusses the articles in this special section with an emphasis on the specific utility of multivariate, multi-level models in developmental psychopathology for ultimately contributing to both etiologic insights and translational advances. These issues are considered not only in terms of the specific papers, but also within a larger set of questions regarding the opportunities (and challenges) currently facing the field. We describe why we believe this an exciting time for integrative team-science approaches to tackle these challenges—a time that holds great promise for rapid advances in integrative developmental science that includes a biological level of mechanistic understanding. In order to facilitate this, we outline a range of approaches within both translational neuroscience and translational developmental science that can be used as frameworks for understanding how such research can provide etiologic insights regarding real-world targets at the level of social, behavioral, and affective processes that can be modified during key developmental windows of opportunity. We conclude that a “construct validity” framework, where biological data form a critical, but not privileged, component of key etiological mechanisms, combined with a developmental perspective on key period of sensitivity to intervention effects, is most likely to provide significant translational outcomes.
KeywordsDevelopmental psychopathology Translational neuroscience Translational developmental science Multi-level models Internalizing disorders
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