Toward the Development of the Science of Developmental Psychopathology



It is almost 30 years since the seminal paper by Sroufe and Rutter (1984) and nearly 25 years since the first edition of the Handbook of Developmental Psychopathology (Lewis & Miller, 1990). Much has changed in the study of pathology since then, including our models of development, the definitions of psychopathology—with some newer types added and others removed—and in particular new measurements and new statistical techniques. Nevertheless I think it is still appropriate to define our field as “the study of the prediction of development of maladaptive behaviors and the processes that underlie them.” As we have said, the thrust of the definition of developmental psychopathology requires something more than a simple combination of two sets of interests. Besides the study of change and development of maladaptive behaviors, the combination of issues of development with that of psychopathology informs both areas of interest. But perhaps of equal importance is that our study of the development of pathology forces us to look at individual differences.


Transformational Model Environmental Model Attachment Theory Maladaptive Behavior Insecure Attachment 
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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for the Study of Child DevelopmentRutgers Robert Wood Johnson Medical SchoolNew BrunswickUSA

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