Model building in developmental psychopathology: a pragmatic approach to understanding and intervention

J Clin Child Psychol. 1999 Dec;28(4):502-12. doi: 10.1207/S15374424JCCP2804_10.


Proposes model building as a pragmatic and integrative approach to developmental psychopathology. The model-building process is iterative within a program of research, cycling through the following phases of research: theory, field observation, construct definition, measurement development, construct analysis, model testing, experimental field trials, and model revision. Research on the development of and interventions for antisocial behavior is discussed as a tool for reflecting on the model-building process. The ecological framework is offered as a science-based heuristic that integrates various levels of analysis and theoretical perspectives.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder / diagnosis
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder / psychology
  • Antisocial Personality Disorder / therapy
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Developmental Disabilities / diagnosis
  • Developmental Disabilities / psychology*
  • Developmental Disabilities / therapy
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Mental Disorders / diagnosis
  • Mental Disorders / psychology*
  • Mental Disorders / therapy
  • Models, Psychological
  • Personality Assessment
  • Personality Development*
  • Psychotherapy
  • Social Environment