Editorial: Developmental Psychopathology

By Gothelf, Doron; Steinberg, Tamar et al. | The Israel Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences, April 1, 2010 | Go to article overview

Editorial: Developmental Psychopathology


Gothelf, Doron, Steinberg, Tamar, Golan, Ofer, Apter, Alan, The Israel Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences


With the intensifying focus on the proposed revision of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM-5) in 2013, the role of development in the conceptualization of psychiatric diagnosis will hopefully gain more recognition. Unfortunately, previous versions of the DSM included only brief considerations of developmental themes.

In the early parts of the last century developmental psychiatry was dominated by so-called "Grand Theories" of development which were derived mainly from philosophy and psychoanalysis. Although the insights from these theories continue to be a rich source for hypothesis building and prospective research, their early promise of explaining all of psychopathology proved disappointing. The "Grand Theories" were replaced, therefore, by painstaking evidence based research which has attacked much smaller issues. However, as this body of study increases in substance, it is becoming increasingly apparent that psychiatrists need to base their clinical work on sound developmental theory. Perhaps the most important landmark for this approach was the publication by Donald Cohen and Dante Cicchetti of their seminal work Developmental psychopathology: Theory and method (1). In the introductory presentation of this special issue, Toth and Cicchetti describe the evolution and principles of Developmental Psychopathology and how such principles are fundamental for understanding child psychiatric disorders.

It is our suggestion that one of the major frameworks for the new DSM-5 revision needs to be developmental and thus the publication of the present issue of the Israel Journal of Psychiatry and Related Sciences is extremely timely. This is perhaps even more so as the late Donald Cohen had a major role in the development of this Journal.

It is now well established that most psychiatric disorders have strong genetic predispositions with abnormal brain development trajectories. Two papers this special issue are devoted to Tourette syndrome and autism, diseases with strong genetic diatheses and a developmental emergence of both psychiatric and neurological symptoms. Despite intensive research, the genetic variants associated with the genetic risk for these neuropsychiatrie disorders are as yet uncertain. With advancements in molecular biology and cytogenetics we are now able to screen the whole genome for the presence of small microdeletions and microduplications collectively termed copy number variations (CNVs). CNVs currently account for the etiology of autism in 10%-20% (2), and there is evidence for the important role of CNVs in other psychiatric disorders, such as schizophrenia (3). Two papers in this special issue focus on microdeletion syndromes - velocardiofacial syndrome and Williams syndrome - associated with unique psychiatric, cognitive and behavioral phenotypes. Velocardiofacial is the most common known genetic risk factor for schizophrenia and Williams syndrome is associated with characteristic deficits in auditory processing and a distinct social phenotype.

Developmental psychopathology is thus an excellent framework for understanding a myriad of psychiatric disorders with distinctive abnormal neurodevelopmental trajectories, such as early onset schizophrenia (reviewed in the special issue by Kinros et al.). It is also a context for understanding extreme behaviors, such as gender identity disorder which according to the review by Schechner is a form of gender behavior which should be understood as a continuum rather than as a dichotomy of normal versus abnormal categories.

Developmental psychopathology is also important for formulations of normal development. Research by Weismann et al. in the current special issue shows how early psychological traits - temperament of children - are strongly associated with development of peer relations and problems with peers.

It is now well recognized that there are sensitive periods in core psychological functions, such as language acquisition.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Editorial: Developmental Psychopathology
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.