A developmental psychopathology perspective on adolescence

J Consult Clin Psychol. 2002 Feb;70(1):6-20. doi: 10.1037//0022-006x.70.1.6.


Developmental psychopathology offers an integrative framework for conceptualizing the course of development during adolescence, with particular relevance for understanding continuity and the emergence of psychopathology during this and subsequent developmental periods. In this article, the utility of a developmental psychopathology perspective for informing the design of research, prevention, and intervention is highlighted. Interdisciplinary, organizational models of development, emphasizing the dynamic relations between the developing individual and internal and external contexts, are discussed. Examination of boundaries between abnormal and normal development during adolescence offers important vantage points for articulating diversity in the developmental course during this period. Conceptualizing divergence and convergence in developmental pathways, continuity and discontinuity in development, and the transactions of risk and protective processes leading to maladaptation, psychopathology, and resilience are highlighted.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adolescent Behavior / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Psychology, Adolescent