The past achievements and future promises of developmental psychopathology: the coming of age of a discipline


  • Conflict of interest statement: No conflicts declared.

Dante Cicchetti, Institute of Child Development, University of Minnesota, 51 East River Road, Minneapolis, MN 55455-0345, USA; Email:


Over the past decades, developmental psychopathology has coalesced into a discipline that has made significant contributions toward the understanding of risk, psychopathology, and resilience in individuals across the life course. The overarching goal of the discipline has been to elucidate the interplay among biological, psychological, and social-contextual aspects of normal and abnormal development. In addition to directing efforts toward bridging fields of study and aiding in elucidating important truths about the processes underlying adaptation and maladaptation, investigators in developmental psychopathology have been equally devoted to developing and evaluating methods for preventing and ameliorating maladaptive and psychopathological outcomes. Increasingly, efforts are being made to conduct investigations at multiple levels of analysis and to translate basic research knowledge into real-world contexts. In this article, the contributions, challenges, and future directions of the field are highlighted.